Review: Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery (PSV)
Title: Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery
Format: PlayStation Network Download (561 MB)
Release Date: May 15, 2013
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Lucid Games
Price: $2.99 (US), €1.99 (EU), £1.59 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery is also available on iOS.
The PlayStation Vita version was used for this review.
Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, is the name given to an ape-like creature that supposedly inhabits North American Forests. Only seen in a few blurry photos and never up close, unless of course your named Jacob Jones one of Camp Eagle Feathers newest members. Together they’ll have to solve devious puzzles to find out what’s truly going at the strange summer camp.
Built and designed by Lucid Games, who previously made Travel Bug for the PS Vita. Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery is an episodic title set in a papercraft world. But is this mystery worth unfolding or should it be scrunched up and thrown in the bin?
The game starts off with your character Jacob Jones and his parents, on his way to summer camp. There is a good selection of puzzles which intertwine with the story and can be intelligently ingenious; fans of the Professor Layton games would feel right at home. To move around the world you simply swipe the screen and J.J moves to the next area, or a touch of the screen to interact with objects or people.
Story wise this game suits all ages but with a wicked adult undertone that’ll appeal to the grown-ups. I found myself not wanting to play until the wife & kids got home so they could enjoy it too. “But what if it’s really gory or explicit later on?” I muttered to myself, “I better complete it first just in case.” I continued on, for my family.
Picking up cans, found littered around the camp adds credits to your phone which allow you to get hints for the puzzles. I know that sounds strange but it makes sense in the game and is a nice way of making you explore the environment.
I used the hints to see how easy it made the puzzles, I didn’t need to, honest. You use your phone to either Check Hintbook (messages), Call Uncle Ed, Call Big Bro or as a last resort use one of three puzzle passes. Your brothers will be doing various things each time you call them and the clues they give are well thought out.
This is one of the most beautiful games I’ve played in ages. It’s a gorgeous treat to the eyes with an excellent attention to detail. Using the Unreal 3 engine to make a paper craft world that oozes with its own personality and charm; Lucid Games have outdone themselves. All of the characters in the game are unique and look great, so much so that I want some figures of them to adorn my PC desk.
In many reviews you may have noticed how the PS Vita screen makes games look better, well this is no exception. Colours look rich and the style really works well, it even looks great when you tilt the Vita – which alters the perspective, allowing you to see around things.
Voice work is very good and suits each character well. For such a low priced title, this sounds anything but. Voice talent from the likes of Mac McDonald (Captain of Red Dwarf), Jo Wyatt (Perfect Dark Zero) and even Jay Benedict (Foyle’s War). The music which is composed by Chris Mann who has worked on everything from Aardman Animations to Pepsi Ads.
This game is single player only.
As you may have guessed, I really like this game. There is so much to do in this episode and it’s such a great price. You can brag about your completed puzzles on Facebook and Twitter which is nice but the best part of completing a puzzle is the tense ‘am I correct’ moment at the end, even when I know I’m correct I still find myself playing along.
I can’t get over how much this looks & feels like a console game on the go. The quality of graphics, audio and story is excellent. My wife and kids got home and are now playing it obsessively, I didn’t mention the sacrifice I made on their behalf.
As you might have guessed, I’m looking forward to the next episodes and think it’s an outstandingly good game. This papercraft mystery is definitely worth unfolding.
* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature.