Joggernauts surprised me. Though a simple, endless runner, the Space Mace developed title pairs a vibrant art style with fluid controls and a pretty unique concept, which in turn delivers a delightful video game. The auto-scrolling platforming requires the player to be on-the-ball, switching colors and making it through obstacles peppered across each stage. In the grand scheme of it, there aren’t many stages to play through, though each builds upon its predecessor and adds its own flare.
That said, the gameplay itself begins to feel stale after a couple of hours. It never gets boring, per se, but the concept is simply too drawn out. I commend the developers for creating a nice little game with its gameplay elements properly utilized, but just can’t help but feel more could’ve been done to flesh out the levels. For example, this could’ve taken the form of a gameplay twist introduced midway through the title, something that would’ve shaken things up. This shouldn’t be misconstrued as portraying the game as bad, though. What Joggernauts presents, from its art style, visuals, and overall presentation, is enough to charm me.
The game really shines when you’re hunkered around your Switch with friends. Multiplayer is integral. You can play with up to three others, which I highly encourage. Each player can make or break a level for their team, making Joggernauts a truly nervewracking party game. With one wrong move, an entire level can be wasted. And trust me, it’ll happen.
Gathering trophies is essential to progressing through Joggernauts, with each level including two to find. I found that one of the trophies was typically in a more common location, with the second often requiring players to take a different route or path. This prompting allows players to explore more of what Joggernauts has to offer. Generally, I’m not a fan of games forcing players to go back and grind to progress in the overworld. Joggernauts doesn’t do that, or at least it doesn’t feel that way. Playing through levels a second time in order to find that damned second trophy became a major highlight of the game, especially towards the end of my playthrough.
Visually speaking, the game is wonderful. It boasts a colorful palate that changes from level to level. Each stage is truly its own, which in turn adds to the distinct level design. In regards to character models, each team varies from one another. Whether it’s a duo of cats or two one-eyed monsters, the teams playable are truly fun to pick from. This is solely an aesthetic choice, though. No team holds an advantage over another. I appreciate that each team is equal to one another, as it’s incredibly fun to mix and match as you begin different levels.
An issue I have with Joggernauts that started off subtle but began to rear its head more and more throughout the playthrough. Joggernauts‘ soundtrack is a bore, the bulk of it consisting of repetitive, cliche tunes. Due to the nature of this game, the soundtrack just needs to crush it. A title can’t have its players taking on the same levels over and over again only to present monotonous music. The soundtrack in Joggernauts is undoubtedly its Achilles’ heel.
The game isn’t for everyone but definitely has its audience. If you’re looking for a fast-paced auto-running platformer to play with friends, Joggernauts is probably up your alley. Just don’t go in expecting more than a fun, little title to keep yourself entertained with for just a little while.
A review code was provided by the publisher.