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REVIEW ROUNDUP #1
By JAY TEE
15/11/18

REVIEW ROUNDUP?

The JTGA Review Roundup is a carefully curated selection of exciting indie titles from the last few weeks that absolutely deserve your attention. There will likely be no running theme or connective tissue between any of the titles; just two or three games that we think deserve a look, and that might have otherwise been missed.

We’re kicking things off with a review of the Switch release of Windjammers, an absolute cult classic with a new lease of life on Nintendo’s hybrid wonder box. Then, we take a look at The Jackbox Party Pack 5, another shining example of local multiplayer goodness. And finally, we wrap things up with Road Redemption, a modern day Road Rash, again for Nintendo Switch.

WINDJAMMERS - The announcement of a Switch console exclusive sequel all but guaranteed a port of the original. I’m happy to report than Windjammers is as delightfully retro and incredibly fun as ever. It also lends itself tremendously well to both local and online play. It’s a surprisingly nuanced competitive title, with exceptional balance, and a pleasing ‘pick up and play’ vibe. In many ways, it’s also highly reminiscent of Roll7’s recent superb Laser League. You’ll almost immediately feel at home with the controls, and the A.I. thankfully offers a healthy challenge, especially as servers on the Switch version were a tad quiet. This is absolutely worth a look. 4/5

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Watch out for wall bouncers. They are, quite literally, the devil, and will quickly flip a game on its head.

THE JACKBOX PARTY PACK 5 - Having previously tested the waters with ports of the previous versions, The Jackbox Party Pack 5 has arrived on Switch and delivered another solid selection of ridiculous, tongue in cheek multiplayer games. Once again, your primary controller is your mobile phone or tablet, opening up the possibilities for non-gamers to jump in on the action. Far and away the best game in the collection is ‘You Don’t Know Jack’, which retains much of the self aware humour of past editions. Experimental physics title Zeeple Dome offers frantic, trial and error style challenges, while Split the Room, with its friendship affecting hypothetical scenarios, is also another highlight. 4/5

ROAD REDEMPTION - The crunch of a well timed swing, or smartly placed drive-by C4 charge, creates a consistent sense of playful joy in Road Redemption, a modern day re imagining of classic title Road Rash. This is a game that demands to be played on a sofa with three other friends. The package itself can feel a little bare bones; on Switch, the lack of private online lobbies is a criminal omission, as is the reduced local player count from four to two. It’s also a fairly janky looking title, with extremely basic texture work and similarly un detailed characters models. The gameplay itself is worthy of a perfect score, but the technical shortcomings and disappointing online functionality cause some points to be lost. 3/5

WINDJAMMERS (NEO GEO, PS4, PSV, AND NS)

Prepare for maximum competitiveness. This is a game that demands a big crowd of players AND spectators.

THE JACKBOX PARTY PACK 5 (PS4, XB1, PC, AND NS)

The physics are outrageous. Seriously. Knocking someone off a bike is immensely satisfying.

ROAD REDEMPTION (PS4, XB1, PC, AND NS)