If there was a game made for Halloween (well… any season actually) it’s Pumpkin Jack from HeadUp.
The Devil is bored. He wants to create anarchy and evil chaos for the human race, so it is up to you, as Pumpkin Jack to stop a Wizard that’s a thorn in the Devil’s side.
You, Pumpkin Jack are a bad guy resurrected and on a mission for the Devil.
But it’s not going to be a casual stroll through the hay fields.
Gameplay is reminiscent of old skool free roam platformers. From high platforms through to Pumpkin head only segments not forgetting railcar riding and horseback as you are guided by a wise… cracking Owl.
Many a monster or enemy is around every corner and an uneasy alliance with a Crow sees you able to trek through the mostly open environments smashing crates to keep your health in check, finding drinking fountains for a full top up and save point and collecting rare Crow skulls to cash in later on in game bonuses to the likes of new skins for Jack.
Although Pumpkin Jack is not a traditional RPG you do have an Inventory for swapping out melee weapons. For the most part better weapons are gained from defeated bosses.
While the genre of the game could be seen as dated (it did remind me of 3D platformers of the late 90s and early 00s) I believe that it is intentional, a nod to those great games of yore.
Super tricky in parts and an objective to try to not die (good luck with that) Pumpkin Jack is modern take of retro-esque adventure plays.
Previously released on Nintendo Switch last year (2020) Pumpkin Jack is now on the more serious 4K home consoles and is a perfect title to ramp up your Halloween.
Released: October 2021
Platform reviewed: Xbox Series X
Genre: Platformer, Adventure