‘Joggernauts’ Review | Color Swapping Chaos
The Nintendo Switch excels at many things and being a system perfect for parties is up there as one of the best features. Joggernauts has released both on the Nintendo Switch and PC, but definitely finds it’s home on the Switch over the PC. In Joggernauts you play as a team of alien athletes trying to recover ship parts and trophies. You can build your team of athletes from a small selection of characters, with more to unlock while playing the game. The team does this all while jogging throughout the level, turning this game into sort of an endless runner/puzzle game that is loads of fun and frustration at the same time! Joggernauts frantic gameplay is brought to life by a charming art style with a great soundtrack to boot!
Now, I will tell you that Joggernauts is not going to blow away any AAA games but, in its own right, is a damn near perfect party game. Joggernauts allows you to either play single player by controlling two characters or multiplayer by utilizing the ever elusive, couch co-op. The goal is to reach the end of each level while trying to get both trophies on each level. Each of your different characters are different colors, these colors correspond with the obstacles on each map. While playing on single player, you will use both controllers to switch between both colors to make sure you can pass through the obstacles. The obstacles you run into will vary based on the levels you are playing, whether they are color-coded aliens that you run through or platforms that become solid after stepping on them. There are also different colored items that you can pick up, but only if that color alien collides with them. Collecting the orbs on each level will allow you to purchase checkpoints during your run, which will help so you don’t get sent back to the beginning of the level when you die.
Single player play was extremely confusing at first, especially if you don’t have great hand-eye coordination. In single player you control two aliens at the same time, with one button to switch colors and another two buttons to make the characters jump. Sure the concept might seem simple at first, but once you start progressing through each level, the sophisticated dance of switching and jumping becomes daunting. There were times when I become so frustrated that I had to put down the controller for a little bit before pressing on. Typically you have to use this colorized strategy to get the trophies that are on each level. Grabbing both trophies in a level will allow you to attempt to snag the bonus star at the end of every level. Doing so you must go through another set of obstacles and if you fail then the level ends. This reward system makes for going back to 100% every level something frustrating yet fun. Playing in multiplayer just adds more chaotic layers to the already crazy formula. Instead of two players you now have three or four players all changing colors trying to coordinate their path in a way that will bring them success. To top it all off, the developers have included a modifier menu so you can change how fast or slow the characters go, as well as the amount of health that you have. You are truly in control of how difficult you want the game to be.
You will journey through three different worlds in Joggernauts with I believe around 20 levels to jog through. I would say that there is just enough content here to justify owning the game for party purposes. If you really try, you could get through all of the levels in less than a day, if you don’t give up from frustration before that happens. I would’ve like to see more levels to get through, or maybe some levels to be added at a future date. There were only a few things with this game that I didn’t enjoy. When changing colors in mid-air there is almost a stutter to their movement, briefly suspending the character in the air for a very small amount of time. This made timing jumps and getting through certain obstacles a chore at times. Though there are things that can stall the game’s fun factor, Joggernauts still succeeds at doubling both as a challenging platformer as well as a kick ass party game!
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Review statement: The product was supplied by the developer for the sake of this review.