Just in time for summer camp season arrives Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 1. Since summer time is precious, I will cut to the chase here. The real question is, do you want to sign up for this adventure series or not? Well, Bigfoot isn't just going to find himself! If you're a fan of puzzles, adventure, and great characters, then continue reading to find out more about this charming adventure title.
Taking a page from popular puzzle adventure games like Professor Layton and the recently-released to iOS Blue Toad Murder Mystery Files, Jacob Jones combines story and puzzle solving into an easily digestible format. In Episode 1, which is the first of five planned installments, Jacob arrives at Camp Eagle Feather, brought there unwillingly by his aloof parents.
Along the way, you will pass by a hairy mound of something that looks suspiciously like a certain legend of the wilderness. But you will have to wait and see where that pans out. In order to actually get to camp, you will have to solve a puzzle or two along the way that prepares you for the pace of the game, which transitions from story to puzzles in a breezy, lighthearted manner that never feels too stressful.
For instance, there's an integrated hint system for some of the trickier ones. The puzzles are also integrated into the story, with each one making sense instead of being random time fillers.
Whenever you finish a puzzle, you will find out how you did and also how good you could have done. Solving puzzles on your first try and with the least possible moves will earn you more Merit Points.
Mercifully, you do not need to cash these in at any kind of store in order to upgrade your character in order to proceed. However, the flip side is that the puzzles don't have much in the way of replay value. But by the time I solved one, I wanted to get back to the story and characters anyways.
For anyone who's played Tim Schafer's amazing game Psychonauts, it won't take long for you to recognize a familiar feeling once you're poking around camp. This first episode of Jacob Jones borrows heavily from the look and tone of that game, so much so that you will feel like you're back at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. And hey, there's worse places you can be. Who am I kidding, I wouldn't rather be anywhere else! And hats off to the developers at LucidGames for having that great title as an influence here.
And much like a Tim Schafer game, the writing and art are the two strongest components in Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery. The voice acting is not phoned in at all and it's pretty much on the same level as you'd find in an animated program. All of the camp counselors, Jacob's friends, and pretty much everyone else in the game is voiced to fit the look of their character.
While the game may look easy with its delightful, cartoon cutout style, some of the puzzles can be pretty challenging. That's not to say that they're brain busters by any means. This game is targeted more at a younger audience, with enough pepper here and there that will also make it something that parents can enjoy.
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery: Episode 1 is a puzzle/adventure game that's worth your time. It's not a point-and-click and it's not a straight up puzzle title, but rather a mixture of the two. Take one part Professor Layton and one part Sasquatch, throw in a generous helping of Psychonauts, and you have this charming title.