When I first heard of this game it instantly reminded me of an 80s movie called Action Jackson. There’s absolutely nothing wrong if you’ve never heard of the movie, wasn’t anything really special. The game itself has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, but it seems like a nice word play.
As the name itself says there’s no action in the game, just pure adventurized puzzle solving item gathering, combining and using fun, fun, fun.
From the very first scene all the 2D adventure games will feel right at home with this game. There’s the standard verb menu you can click on with hot verb highlighted (meaning if you right click on something a suggested verb will be executed). The inventory box is to the right of it and all takes up the bottom part of the screen, with the upper part being the 2D surrounding where you get to point’n’click your way through the game.
The game feels like a Day of the Tentacle clone, with a gag or two taken from Monkey Island as well (remember somebody “pssssst”ing at you on Melee Island™). There are also some posters in the game that look like the Evil Meteor from Maniac Mansion with the addition of Purple Tentacle’s suction cups. So except for the length this game would nicely fit among the early 90’s Lucasart’s adventure games.
But what about the plot?
You’re a boy named Jackson (and no, you really don’t want any action), who is looking forward to spending a whole day playing the Slackmaster RPG board game at the local game store, for you are a paladin with 18 double odd strength! But alas, there are troubles standing between you and your game.
You’re trapped at home with grandparents visiting and your mum won’t let you out until you’ve socialized with them. But even when you finally get out you’ll find your gaming partners have been abducted and placed in the facilities of physical fitness around your town and you need to save them.
You’ll have to brush up on a few skills, such as your stabbing technique, overpowering fitness instructors, knocking out karate teachers and making construction workers bleed, not to mention you’ll have to shoot birds, push cats around and even launch a guy off the face of the planet (and no, that’s not because you’re a racist, the fact the guy is of different skin colour is purely accidental).
The game is full of humour and nice little but not to difficult puzzles. The cartoonish style really enhances the fun of the game and I was really surprised with the number cutscenes this little game has. Many of your actions will bring forth a cutscene so you’ll get to enjoy observing what you’ve set into motion.
The things that bothered me were few, but the lack of sound was one of them. But since I have read the game had a different interface as well, maybe I have an older version and this was improved. Sorry, haven’t checked. The lack of sound doesn’t hinder the gameplay though, nor do the witty dialogues loose any of their charm. The other thing that really disappointed me was the lack of a descent ending. I mean, you get the idea of what’s about to happen, but still… You finally get the gang together and it’s actually there that you explain to your buddies what has happened to you (so the game is actually a retrospective of the events that lead up to the point it’s at in the end), but still after you explain what you had to go through, you could still see something happen, not just the black screen which leads you back to Windows.
Oh well, hopefully that was corrected in later versions as well (or at least it would be), because apart from these two small setbacks it’s really an excellent adventure game that will really be appreciated by every single 2D adventure fan out there!
Review by: Sebatianos