Game Title: Incredible Jack
Reviewed On: iPad
Available on: iPad,iPhone,iPod touch
Incredible Jack is an app game that follows a magical tree dweller as he searches for his children, who have been kidnapped. Helpfully, the kids have left a trail of coins behind them, à la Hansel and Gretel. (It’s rare indeed for the videogame cliché of coin-collection to be explained like that.) A side-scrolling platform game, Incredible Jack is influenced by two of the genre’s titans, Mario and Sonic. Like Mario, Jack is a pot-bellied, blue-collar worker, leaping along platforms, hopping up to pop power-ups from boxes and even jumping on turtles’ shells. Like Sonic, he’s often flung across swathes of virtual landscape, propelled by spring-loaded devices. App games are inherently limited by virtue of their existing on mobile devices, so it’s not surprising they are partly modelled on simple, classic games that ran on relatively low-fi consoles. Incredible Jack is playable and endearing. And if you’re going to be derivative, you might as well steal from the classics.