Lumber Jacked is a platform-puzzler from Everplay, creators of the amazingly quirky 1001 Attempts, and is the developer's latest mobile game to try to make its mark on the App Store. Does it succeed in providing a fun, distracting mobile experience? Or should we just shout, "TIMBER!" and watch it fall into the depths of the App Store trash pile?

Well, to start things off, let's go over what passes for a story in this game. Joe the lumberjack wears flannel, has a beard, chops wood, and is probably not a hipster doing these things ironically, since he has an actual job. Joe's happy life is disturbed when his rivals, the wily beaver bandits lead by Bustin Beaver, steal all of his chopped wood to build their dams. Joe must track down these offending beavers and show them who's boss by punching them until they explode into flesh confetti.

Holy crap -- what?! This is horrible impetus to play a game! Why would I, as the player, want to literally punch the guts out of a beaver that just wants to build its home using the wood from the forest it inhabits?! So right off the bat, Joe was kind of a scumbag in my eyes. But I had to play the game, so I ventured off in search of beavers to punch in this retro-styled world.

Each level consists of several platforming obstacles and an assortment of beavers to destroy, with Bustin Beaver himself waiting at the end to be destroyed last, thus ending the level. You'll see a timer in the top left corner of the screen, which will turn red as soon as you go over the optimal time limit. If you're quick, you can traverse the stages with the Jump and Punch buttons masterfully to get to the end and pop Bustin in the kisser.

The platforming gets harder as you progress, putting spike pits, rolling wheels, crates, and walls in your way to slow you down. With a bit of finesse, you can circumvent all of these things, all while collecting flannel shirts and wall-jumping to the finish line. Well, you'll try to wall-jump to victory, but the physics in the game aren't that great and you'll always end up going the opposite of where you were aiming and probably plummet to your doom. Also, Joe has the tendency to slide when coming to a stop, so be careful around edges. Just sayin'.

There are currently 60 levels available in the game with some more on the way, so you'll have a lot to do if you actually happen to enjoy the game and the challenges it brings. But the physics, the monotonous and uninspired level designs, and the stupid premise keep this game from being something that would hold a steady spot on my iOS device, for those times wasting away in line at the DMV or waiting for a movie to start in the theater. In fact, the best place for this game would be the void where all crappy games go after I delete them from my home screen.


App Store Link: Lumber Jacked for iPhone & iPad | By Everplay | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 12.0 MB | Rating 4+

2.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating