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Jake Escapes HD Review
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Jake Escapes HD, a vertical racing game from Just Funny Games, is now available from the app store. Featuring a quirky storyline, simple mechanics, and path-finding gameplay, Jake Escapes falls a bit short on both content and excitement.

Jake Escapes HD Pros:

  • Unique building-scaling presentation
  • Soundtrack is catchy and upbeat
  • Slingshot control mechanic is easy to use
  • Completing light puzzling elements will unlock boss battles

Jake Escapes HD Cons:

  • No achievements to earn or stats to compare
  • Some control responsiveness issues
  • Campaign is short and only contains two cities of significance
  • Repetitive and lacking in excitement

Playing as mastermind thief Jake, each of the 17 levels tasks you with scaling a building side by jumping horizontally, diagonally, and/or vertically (but never relinquishing progress) while fighting enemies, collecting objective items, and avoiding capture by the world’s greatest detective. Moving about is as simple as swiping in the opposite direction (as if using an invisible slingshot), and your path is often dictated by boarded windows which cannot be used and the presence of tenants who can harm you by dropping objects on you. Tapping on these enemies will cause your lunatic scientist buddy to fire lasers at them, frying them with direct hits that cause them to plummet out of the window and end their threat. You need to move quickly, though, as Detective Bob (or another wily couterpart) is constantly gaining on you from below, ready to toss you back down to the street if he catches up. His proximity is noted by a small icon of his head that gets larger as he gets nearer, as well as an arrow that points in his direction. Frankly, we were a little too involved with climbing, searching for items, and blasting tenants to notice Bob most of the time. There are also some light puzzling elements tossed in for good measure that require some object combination to unlock a boss battle.

Graphically, the game felt a little stale and same-y, as you were constantly faced with a large structure full of windows and the same types of enemies to deal with, though their appearances are altered depending on each city’s theme (Paris and Moscow each contain 8 levels, with Area 51 supplying the initial tutorial level). While the game offers colorful visuals and smooth animations, there just isn’t much of a wow factor at play. The soundtrack similarly fits each location well, evoking traditional elements of each city. Controls, as previously described, can be a little confusing at first, but you shouldn’t have much trouble adjusting. They are generally responsive, with occasional need to re-swipe when the input is vague. Replay value is a little lacking, as the quick campaign and lack of anything to do other than complete the level objectives didn’t give us a compelling reason to come back for more. As such, there is also no social gaming network integration as there really isn’t anything to compare with other players. There is an Arcade mode that only deviates from Story mode by allowing you to replay levels of your choosing. A universal app for $1.99, Jake Escapes HD is a 3.5-Dimple offering.

Jake Escapes HD Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2012-05-28T23:30:22+00:00 rating 3.5 out of 5

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