Also On: PC
Publisher: Necrophone Games
Developer: Necrophone Games
Outside of maybe sex, I don't think there's anything harder for games to get right than humour. I know I'm not saying anything new here, but it's something worth remembering when it comes to Jazzpunk. After all, we're talking about something that's hugely subjective; what one person finds hilarious may leave someone else completely cold.
That goes double for a game like Jazzpunk, whose sense of humour is fairly…idiosyncratic, to put it mildly. It's a spoof of Cold War-era spy movies set in a world of robots, and that's just about the most straightforward thing about it. Jazzpunk is a game where, for example, at one point you'll need to collect five spiders to throw at a restaurant owner, so that you can sneak into the kitchen, steal a pufferfish, and spray its juices onto sushi in order to steal someone's kidney.
It is, to say the least, weird. And it's aggressively weird, too. It's not afraid to let its robotic freak flag fly, in a way that may be off-putting to anyone who doesn't share in its off-kilter sense of humour.
If you do share Jazzpunk's sense of humour, though, this game will seem like a dream come true. You'll love uncovering all the weird little sidequests and Easter Eggs it has to offer, whether it's spoofs of games like Doom and Wave Race, minigames built around combing beaches with metal detectors, or talking boxes. You'll also be disappointed when you realize that the whole game can be beaten and all its trophies achieved in about three hours or less.
Of course, if you don't share Jazzpunk's appreciation for the wacky and random, those three hours will seem like an eternity. Like I said, what one person finds hilarious, another will find just plain stupid. Personally, I fall somewhere between those two extremes, which is why I may sound a little circumspect in my description of the game. There are undeniably parts that cracked me up, but there were also jokes that just didn't land for me.
Then again, that may be how it is for nearly everyone outside of the game's creators, who presumably only included jokes that they loved. Jazzpunk clearly and proudly isn't a game for everyone, but for anyone who shares its developers' collective mindset, it's likely that there'll be a lot more hits than misses, and that by the end of those three hours, you'll be desperate for more.