E3 2014 Impressions: JuJu

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Flying Wild Hog are known for M rated games like Hard Reset and the reboot of Shadow Warrior, but with their next game, Juju, they are stepping out of the comfort zone. Going from the first person shooter genre to the world of platformers is a bit of a change especially since they are looking to make a family friendly platformer.

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At E3 I got some time with Juju and talked to some of the people working on the game and their pitch on why they are making a family friendly co-op game is a great one. Basically the team at Flying Wild Hog are all hitting the point in their lives where they have families and small children and they want to play video games with their children and instead of buying a game to play they as game developers have decided to just go out and make a game. So they looked at old Nintendo platformers for inspiration and created Juju.

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Juju is a bright and colorful game with a charming art style. The story follows the young Juju and his friend Peyo on a journey to find Juju’s father who was taken away by a large creature. Juju plays like an old school platformer, you have your basic jump, roll, and attack button. This game is aimed for a parent and child to enjoy together with local co-op therefore it is not super challenging, but there is enough of a challenge to keep an adult interested in the game because of its solid platforming. Boss battles were also interesting as they are broken down into three stages which helps add variety and depth to the game. You do have a health bar in the game, but that is only damaged when you run into enemies. As an added measure to help young children keep up when they fall behind instead of killing them, their character is put into a little bubble and carried to their co-op partner and with a hit of the Cross button they can jump back into the action. Again, it is meant for young children to enjoy their experience with their game and prevent them from getting frustrated from such things like falling behind on a fast paced level.

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In addition there are also quick challenging stages that involve the characters running through the stage at a very fast rate that require quickly timed jumps through obstacles. This section was actually difficult, but I was able to complete it…after many many attempts though I was carried by a superior co-op partner that was a member of Flying Wild Hog, but regardless I was only the second person to complete that section.

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In my quick 20-30 minutes with Juju, I was impressed and the pitch by the game developers sort of won me over. The idea that a developer only known for their shooters were making a video game to enjoy with their children is cool. From what I played Juju seems like it is a strong platformer for families. Juju is aiming for a release sometime this year for PS3 and PC.

Written by Michael Cwick

Michael Cwick

Just a nerd from the Windy City. I’m actually really bad at describing myself because I get all self-critical and self-conscious. Follow me on Twitter, @The1stMJC, to see my borderline insane rants on tv shows and other non important subjects. If I’m not tweeting I’m probably just watching Buffy or Firefly for the millionth time.

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  • Never heard of this game or studio, but their new title looks pretty interesting. Mostly after hearing they have done more adult games then platformers.

  • ChazzH69

    Having seen their earlier games this is a drastic change and a welcome one. I think it looks like a fun game which I can play with my girls. It is also good for the developers, to stop them from getting into a self induced monotony.