Review: Dynamite Jack

You play as Dynamite Jack, a space marine captured and forced to work in the mines for the rest of your life. Armed with bombs and a flashlight, you must sneak and blow your way to freedom in this top down action puzzler. Do I kill the guards or use them as a light source? This will be a constant thought as you look to navigate through the many levels, collecting precious Anathema crystals as you venture on towards freedom.

Pros:

  • The game is a dark game being you are in the mines, the flashlight once found will illuminate your path. This one mechanic is excellent and really builds atmosphere within the game. Guards can see your light so you must use it wisely. Guards have lights as well and you must avoid being in their light at all costs. All levels have a running timer and a death count showing how many times you bit the dust. Whilst the timer is just a timer it certainly adds pressure.
  • Stealth is the name of the game here, setting off bombs alerts guards to the blast site and you soon learn how to use this to your advantage. You use bombs not just for distracting enemies but also to blow up certain types of wall and blocks.
  • 28 levels are available to play, whilst short they all carry 3 bonus objectives that grant achievements and bonus levels. The main draw of them is it opens your mind up to alternative ways to play the game.
  • Upon completing a level it is possible to view the replay if you so wish.
  • Full controller support from the off but using the keyboard is just as easy. Using the arrow keys for movement while Z turns your flashlight on/off and space bar drops and detonates bombs. I found it just as easy to use the keyboard rather than dig the controller out.
  • The soundtrack is every bit as good as the game itself, offering very chilled out tunes during exploration with a sudden dramatic beat kicking in upon guard confrontations.
  • You can make your own levels and upload them so anyone can play them, I looked at a few and there are some very clever levels out there. This is a great addition to an already good game.
  • Full leaderboard support and this includes separate leaderboards for your created levels.
  • The visuals do look basic and to be fair they are, but the charm is the way in which the visuals work. By this I mean with the atmospheric lighting coupled with the level design. The retro feel to it all really does change your view on it all.
  • Speed runs are encouraged for those leaderboard chasers and the game handles that very well.
  • Levels are very bite size in terms of being able to dip in do a level then save it. Later on the puzzles will rack your brain but this game is a good fit and a nice alternative for mobile gamers.

Cons:

  • The actual game itself can be considered quite short. This is more evident if you were to just play through the levels and avoid doing the bonus objectives.
  • The visuals are not at a high standard that most people would think.

In summary as you can quite clearly see, the game has more going for it than against it. Even the bad points are minor. This is a great game and you make it as hard as you want it. It’s a great idea and is really well executed. Due to the deceptively simple nature of the game you will find yourself going back to it for more. All leaderboards are shared across all the platforms which make it even more accessible for players to make a leaderboard of friends. I just loved the whole feel of it and how clever the gameplay plays out. Even now I always load it up at least 3 times a day just to  have another crack at a level time. You can lose yourself in the level creator for hours and with its easy upload and share feature, getting new levels daily is like free DLC for life. Who wouldn’t want that? In conclusion, job well done and Galcon are now well and truly on my radar for future titles.

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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