Pumpkin Jack is an action platformer that harkens back to simpler times. It released for PlayStation 4 last year, but we foolishly missed out on the fun. Thankfully, we've been able to catch up with Jack on PS5 thanks to the New-Gen Edition of the game, which runs at a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second, and features load times that last but a few seconds.
It takes around four hours to blast through Pumpkin Jack and its handful of levels, but it's a very well made, enjoyable excursion while it lasts. The titular antihero sets off on a mission to doom mankind — a task decreed by the Devil, no less — and what follows is a Halloween-infused adventure that hinges on responsive running, hopping, and jumping, topped off with some basic hack and slash combat.
If it had released for the PS2 back in the day, there's no doubt that Pumpkin Jack would be fondly remembered by those who played it. The game does a fantastic job of capturing that era's energy, from the simple but effective level design — complete with a number of crazy on-rails sections — to the bombastic boss fights at the end of each stage. At its best, Pumpkin Jack is a joy — just an absolutely rock solid recreation of the mostly straightforward, but sometimes tricky platformers that were everywhere 20 or so years ago.
Pumpkin Jack isn't going to blow your mind here in 2021, but if you're on the market for a few hours of Halloween fun, you can't really go wrong. A game that knows exactly what it wants to be, and delivers with confidence.