Jack n’ Jill DX (PS4) Review

Jack n’ Jill went up a hill, to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill came tumbling after – with the platinum trophy in her hand. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Ratalaika Games have published another game with an extremely easy Platinum trophy which also supports Cross-buy on the PS4 and PS Vita. The game was actually developed by Rohan Narang, the developer behind Squareboy vs Bullies, and is a rather addictive one-button game where your endlessly run until you hit a wall then turn around and endlessly run once again.

However, just like other recent Ratalaika games, Jack n’ Jill DX has a major issue which I’m not enjoying, an issue which has been in a few of their releases recently and I really hope they stop pushing it as it kind of devalues their games. I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about, so let’s begin.

Jack N' Jill DX 1

Run Forest, run!

Jack n’ Jill DX is a simple game in nature, yet it’s super addictive. After choosing whether you wish to be the titular Jack or Jill, the game begins in it’s rather pleasing Gameboy aesthetic. After your first tap of Cross, your chosen character/tic-tac/blob/Diglett-lookalike will begin their Forest Gump impersonation and continue to run until the end of time. Well, at least until they hit a wall or bump into either Jack or Jill, depending on who your character is.

Originally a mobile game, with the simple single-tap mechanic, Jack n’ Jill DX can get really addictive in later levels as the action becomes more intense and you have to strategically plan ahead what you need to do. Bumping into a wall or obstacle will turn your character around and force them to continually run in the opposite direction until they hit something else. Think Super Mario Run, the rather popular mobile game from Nintendo, but with the reverse mechanic in place as well. 

Jack N' Jill DX 2

Such a simple get, yet super addictive!

Seeing as Jack n’ Jill DX only uses one button, the core gameplay mechanic and frustrations come in the form of obstacles and hazards. As you progress, you’ll be faced against enemies which you can jump on ala Mario-style and smash their faces in. However, if you hold down the jump button as you make an impact with said enemies face, then you can use that momentum to jump higher – thus adding a new mechanic into the mix. You’ll also learn to perform the infamous wall jump so you can get further up in the levels and gain a boost to jump over obstacles. Again though, jumping into a wall then jumping off it will result in you now running in the opposite direction.

The game does get quite challenging and I did rage quit a few times within my playthroughs only to return at a later date as I couldn’t keep myself away for very long! As I stated earlier, the game is cross-buy as well, so the purchase of this game will grant you access to both the PS Vita and PS4 versions for a single low price, this allows you to get up to four platinums – A PS Vita and PS4 in your region and PS4 in the other two regions – Asia and NA (or EU depending from where you are from). however, this brings me to my biggest complaint about recent Ratalaika Games releases…

Jack N' Jill DX 3

This unlocked way too fast…

The platinum trophy is too easy to obtain and it devalues the game in my personal opinion. I thought this game was really fun and I was just getting into it when the platinum trophy popped up – after around 20-25 minutes of gameplay. I was kind of in shock and had to check the trophy list (as I’ve stopped checking it before playing a game now) and once again, you only have to complete the first world in order to obtain the trophy which 94.9% of owners on PSN have achieved. 

So, out of 140 levels, you are only required to complete the first 20 and buy a few things from the in-game accessory/screen colours shop. I know the vast majority of Ratalaika Games‘ fans are trophy hunters, as they get two platinums for one small price. However, it seems that lately they, or their developers, have really lowered the standards in regards to what they constitute as rewarding the players for playing their games. I thought Sqaureboy vs. Bullies was a decent challenge to get the platinum as it was around two hours long for you to finish the game and get the trophy. That game has a 71.5% achievement rate for the platinum on PSN, so it seems developers are willing to have people only play a small portion of their game, a game which actually gets a lot better AFTER you have got the platinum in my opinion.

This isn’t the only game I’m going to make this observation on today and I doubt it will be the last as well. I really don’t mind easy platinums – it’s a nice bonus for playing a game. However, there is a difference between an easy platinum and being rewarded one for playing 1/7th of a game. I sincerely hope that we begin to see games which require you to actually finish them in order to obtain the trophy going forward, although that may result in fewer sales and according to an article a while ago, from True Trophies, that may be the reasoning behind why they are given out so easily?

Jack N' Jill DX 4

Hmmm… Maybe she’s hiding? I don’t think she likes you anymore, Jack.

The main thing which annoys me is the fact this game actually has in-game achievements with constitutes to completing the game and even collecting all of the coins on each world. These in-game achievements don’t match up to the actual trophy list. So yeah, you can aim to achieve all these in-game ones if you want and unlock a bunch of minigames (which are fun) but I know the majority of people will stop if there is no actual trophies or Xbox achievements links to further completion. If anything, the Nintendo Switch version is the best version here as they don’t have trophies, so people will complete the game and aim to get all the in-game trophies instead. I know not everyone will care about actual trophies, but a large majority of PlayStation owners do. 

Personal Opinion:
Personally, I really enjoyed Jack n’ Jill DX. I continued playing it after I obtained the platinum and I had a lot more fun than just playing the first 20 levels. As such, I would strongly advise those who pick it up to ignore the trophy list and just play through the game normally, at least on one of the platforms. Sure, there is little motivation if you like your trophies as you’l get no reward for actually completing the game, but the game is actually super fun and really addictive – especially on the PS Vita which is perfect for a game like this where you can play it in short bursts yet still make good progress on the 140 levels.

I’m not happy with this new wave of piss-easy platinums, but putting that aside, I really enjoyed unlocking the various screen colours, new costumes and even playing through the unlocked mini-games. I just wish the actual in-game achievements were the basis for the actual trophy list as it would have got more people to actually enjoy more of this game rather than just 25 minutes until they stopped when the platinum popped.

Let’s end this review on a positive though, the visuals are super cute and a really nice throwback tot he Gameboy-era, especially if you unlock the pea-green overlay. Also, the music is really memorable and fun! Sure, it’s about as simple as the game itself but it has a really cool chiptune style and after a few repeats you’ll be humming along and tapping your foot along to the beat! Despite my issues with the trophy side, I really enjoy the game and I highly recommend you pick it up for any platform under the sun and give it a bash today!

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
Jack n’ Jill DX is a super addictive single-button game in which you can’t stop until you find your partner. Spread over 140 levels and seven different ‘worlds’, if you’re aiming to complete the entire game and get all the in-game trophies then expect to be playing for a decent amount of time. If you’re only here for the PSN trophies, you’ll have the platinum within 25 minutes and the game is fully Cross-buy supported with the PS4 and PS Vita. Utilising the in-game coins, you can dress up your character and even change the screen tint from Gameboy green to Pokemon red/blue tints – which all look great. 

You’ll have the platinum long before you complete this game, however, if you like simple puzzle -platformers, I would actually highly recommend this game as it’s tonnes of fun and contains a lot of content should you not care about PSN trophies.

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A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Jack N’ Jill

£3.99
7.1

Final Score

7.1/10

The Good:

  • Quickly becomes super addictive and fun to play
  • Lots to unlock and purchase in-game
  • 140 levels which increasingly become more and more manic
  • Plenty of in-game achievements to work towards
  • Cross-buy between PS4 and PS Vita

The Bad:

  • PSN and Xbox trophies are terribly easy and de-values the overall product
  • Some levels are a bit frustrating with pixel-perfect accuracy needed (although that's part of the core mechanics)
  • Can be a 15-25 minute game if all you care about is getting the platinum trophy (could be a good or bad thing depending on if you only want the platinum or want to enjoy a fun game)

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