JUJU doesn’t pose much of a challenge, but it’ll put a smile on your face nonetheless.
Sometimes you need a break from all the gritty first-person shooters, severe role-playing games, brutal horror games and other adult-oriented games and that’s why games like JUJU are a pleasant surprise. JUJU is a colorful platformer that borrows a lot from classic games (primarily those from Nintendo) and its obviously dedicated to younger player, but then again that doesn’t mean that if you’ve been playing video games, you won’t enjoy JUJU.
In JUJU, you explore several themed worlds (jungle, fire, ice and so on.) The main goal involves collecting as many gems as possible, avoiding or defeating enemies, finding hidden rooms and making it to the end of each stage as fast as you can. If you grew up playing Nintendo games, you’ve probably seen anything this game has to offer, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Since you’ve played this before, you know that bugs, fire and spikes hurt you and that you’ve probably developed a sixth sense when it comes to finding hidden levels.
There are some unlockable mechanics to take into account, but they aren’t that complex and they don’t exponentially alter the way in which you play the game. You can play music to unlock paths and get gems, you can run into enemies to defeat them and you can perform a sort of ground pound that works as an attack. Some of the boss fights encourage you to use these abilities, but then again, they don’t change the game dramatically.
JUJU shares a lot of similarities with classic platformers, but if I had to choose one in particular, I’d say this is remarkably similar to Rayman Origins. In fact, one of JUJU’s main draws is its cooperative mode that allows up to two players to play at the same time. The best part about coop is that it allows players of different skill levels to play at the same time and the second player can jump in and out at any time. If I had to guess, I’d say that this was made for parents to play with their children and it sounds like a great idea because there aren’t that many games that allow you to do that. By the time I got to the final levels of the game, I was pleasantly surprised with the game’s level design. Suddenly, levels were extremely fast and the process of playing them was much more entertaining. Some of the latter mechanics (launching balls to attack enemies or destroy parts of the environments and stepping on the blue gel to run faster) are really fun.
Visually, the game’s really attractive. Unreal Engine 3 was used and the modern game engine really brings this colorful title to life. Most people who come to this simplistic platformer won’t do it for its visuals, but I think it’s at least a pleasant surprise. The vibrant graphics are more than pleasant to look at and will keep you pushing forward even if the gameplay doesn’t surprise you that much.
JUJU is a simplistic platformer that borrows a lot of elements from classic Nintendo games and Rayman Origins, so there’s nothing terribly original about it. Nevertheless, if you want a break from adult-themed games or if you want to play cooperatively with your kids or younger members of your family, there’s not a lot of games quite like JUJU. I ended up playing most of the game by myself and I enjoyed it more than I thought I was going to.