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.
Got it on sale last week for $13.49 in anticipation of the free next gen upgrade. Looks like it was worth the purchase to give a whirl this weekend!
If anyone's got any questions about the game, let me know and I'll try to answer them!
@ShogunRok Would you say there's any comparison gameplay-wise between this and MediEvil?
@ShogunRok Is the platinum worth it? I've had my eye on this game for a while and wanted something fun and easy for the upcoming PS community challenge. Also, if you buy this on PS4 right now, will you get the free upgrade? Or was it just for people who bought it prior to the upgrade's launch?
This reminds me of MediEvil. My problem with MediEvil is that when you die you start way back at the beginning of the level. @ShogunRok Is Pumpkin Jack like that too, or does it actually have checkpoints?
I'm only here to say that your Olay ad is absolutely awful, takes up way too much of the screen on iPhone. Awful.
I also got it on the current sale and I’m going to play it on Halloween 🎃
I remember hearing about this game last year. I may have to buy it and give it a go.
@Broosh It does have a very MediEvil vibe to it at times. It's not as in-depth as MediEvil but you do unlock different weapons which alter gameplay. The level design can be quite similar as well, with some of the more open stages offering a bit of exploration. Definite inspiration, I think.
@RBMango I believe it's a free upgrade if you own the game on PS4, which is always nice.
The Platinum is doable, too. You'll probably get most of the Trophies in your first playthrough, but you'll need to scour each level for collectibles if you want 100%.
@ShogunRok I started playing this yesterday on PS5 and popped 5-6 trophies. None of them registered. The game doesn't even show on my trophy list. Did you have any similar issues? (Other than that, fun game and worth the sale price.)
@bpomber Pumpkin Jack has very fair checkpoints, most of the time. There are a couple of on-rails sections that are quite long, and if you fail them, you'll go back to the beginning of that section. They're not too hard, though — the game's got a nice difficulty balance.
@Deadhunter Hmmm, weird. As far as I can tell, all of my Trophies have registered. Did you upgrade from the PS4 version? Maybe there's some kind of bug with it?
@ShogunRok Thanks! Just picked it up and I can confirm you can get the free PS5 upgrade for the sale price of the PS4 version. =D
@ShogunRok I did. I purchased the PS4 version last week when the sale dropped, then downloaded the PS5 version yesterday. A quick Google search tells me that there was a trophy bug that affected the PS4 version when it first released, but it was patched. I guess it's reappeared with the upgrade.
@ShogunRok Sounds right up my alley then! Thanks.
@Deadhunter Bloody typical. Would explain why I never had any issues, then. Hopefully it gets fixed soon.
I really enjoyed this game when I played it last year, the medievil vibes are what attracted me to it in the first place, and the platinum trophy is very easy to get.
If I platinumed on PS4 will the PS5 auto pop?
I played this a while back on Switch and loved it! Didn’t have any issue with the puzzles or combat but there was a couple of frustrating escape sequences. I’d give it an 8/10.
I've been playing this for Halloween vibes this month. It's been good fun. The controls are simple enough that you can jump in for a little bit each day after work. I recommend it.
Game looks like some quick fun, will buy during the next big sale.
Just completed the ps4 version. It can't quite hold a candle to MediEvil, so for me, it's more of a Jack-no-lantern. The movement doesn't feel good and the enemies don't change up enough. The combat is easy to master and the bosses are just pretty standard old school bosses. The retro feel is all it can sell itself on. I've had worse times but the levels are more forgettable compared to something like MediEvil. The hidden collectables aren't really hidden well at all, managed to get them all first time round and so ended with the platinum (Great if you're a trophy hunter). The music and character speech art are probably the best things about the game. A 6 would be the absolute best for me.
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