If Jack N’ Jill DX can boast about one thing, it’s value for content. Seriously, Jack N’ Jill DX is packed to the brim. Sure, this game is hardly going to provide any wow-factor, but there’s no denying that for its very generous cost, you’re getting more than your money’s worth. The game doesn’t really have a story, save the fact that playing as either Jack or Jill, one must meet the other that awaits the player at the end of each level, but outside of that, there’s really not much to lean on. Here, it’s all about content and gameplay diversity.
Now, I’m not going to pull the wool over your eyes and tell you that Jack N’ Jill DX is deep, because it isn’t. In fact, it’s about as deep as a puddle in the Sahara, but it still manages to bring some excitement nevertheless. As alluded to above, the aim of the game is to take on the role of either Jack or Jill, and traverse each of the game’s one hundred and forty levels in pursuit of the alternate character. There’s also a fairly sizable list of challenges to get into, on top of a mini-game mode and a shop that can be used to purchase items from.
Mini-games are unlocked once you reach the end of each of the seven worlds, in which the above levels are separated into, twenty a piece. Once you complete world, you’ll gain access to a new mini-game. Here, you can earn tickets to spend in the shop on some cosmetic items; hats and screen colors. The mini-games do indeed offer a nice change of pace and see you taking on the enemy character as you fling yourselves into a balloon, fly around the screen to pop balloons, jump ever-changing bridges consecutively, and other simple fluff.
The challenges offer an extra layer of replay value if you’re in the mood to max complete Jack N’ Jill DX. Though, to be transparent, you can max out the achievements in the space of fifteen minutes. The challenge section will present you with a list of additional side objectives; collect a set amount of coins, kill a set amount of enemies, and so on and so forth. It’s a relatively simple system to get to grips with. The meat of the matter, however, sits with the game’s rather sizable campaign – with an added mirror mode, post completion.
Each world offers a differently themed environment ranging a mech-like backdrop, levels based in the sky, a desert-esque outing and other standard designs that you would expect to see from a game of this type. Regardless, the aim of the game and its functionalities largely remain the same throughout. Taking on the role of either titular character, you’ll need to move from one side of the screen to the other, with each level taking roughly a minute or so to complete. Movement is automatic, and you only need to use one button.
At the beginning of each level, tapping the A button will move your chosen character in the direction that the level desires. From here, you’ll need to jump over obstacles, clear large gaps, and squish enemies as you pursue your other half. The game’s difficulty is more than lenient and you shouldn’t have much issue making your way through the game at a brisk pace. To begin with, the game doesn’t throw too much at you. You’ll simply be tasked with the occasional jump, a handful of foes and some deviously placed environmental hazards.
Later in, though, the game starts to get more interesting. You’ll find yourselves collecting wings (think Flappy Bird) as you dodge all manners of dangers to get to the end. There’s also some boots that will speed up your movement, which come in handy to clear the larger jumps. Each world typically introduces a new mechanic and then relies on said mechanic throughout the entirety of that world. It’s hardly what one would describe as a groundbreaking game, but credit does go to its constant flurry of new and interesting additions.
Again, for its price, there’s very little that one can groan about. In fact, there’s games on the market that cost just as much, but provide much, much less. The major downside is that Jack N’ Jill DX becomes quite stale and repetitive before long. Furthermore, the game’s visual and audio design is far from pleasant. Jack N’ Jill DX sports a Game Boy-like grayscale design, offering little more than a trip back to twenty five year old visuals, and a god awful blend of audio cues and music to go with. Rarely do I mute my TV. Here, it felt very necessary.
Jack N’ Jill DX offers quite a decent portion of content in return for its very generous asking price. I take issue with the game’s simplicity and its utter lack of difficulty, ultimately making for an adventure that can literally be completed with just one finger. However, with that being said and despite its repetition, its homage to the Game Boy era remains somewhat endearing throughout.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.