Version Reviewed: 1.0.17
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third generation)
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Game Controls Rating:
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It's not often I come across I game that I believe should be on every iPad. Dynamite Jack is one of those games. Anyone who enjoys mobile gaming will find something to love about this combined action-puzzler. And when players run out of levels, there's plenty of replay value in the game. Dynamic Jack follows Jack, a space marine escaping from his forced work in "the mines."
The goal of each level is to simply get the character, Jack, to the end of the level. Of course, Jack must overcome a series of obstacles including things like lasers, enemies on the lookout for him, locks, and more. Jack generally gets to pick up a flashlight and a detonator (though the detonator is normally harder to obtain). The flashlight allows Jack to navigate the level better because the levels are pitch black in areas without enemies or rooms with lights. But the flashlight's disadvantage is that it gives away his position to enemies. The detonator allows Jack to drop bombs for various reasons like exploding locking mechanisms, destroying the actual shape of the level to navigate the map, and to kill enemies.
There were two strategies that helped me get through many levels easily, one of which I believe should be removed. The strategy that was most enjoyable for me was placing bombs in enemies' paths and detonating them when they walked near them. But the other strategy, the one I believe should be removed, is where the player can use save points as hiding places. Save points are scattered throughout the levels. Often, a player can sit on a save point and avoid being detected despite the fact that an enemy's flashflight may be right on the player. I think it may have been intended, but it feels more like a glitch to me. This strategy makes some levels too easy.
The majority of the games on the App Store are time wasters that will be played for a few hours and discarded. Fully featured games with replay value and many hours of game time are rather rare. The level editor gives Dynamite Jack that replay value and extra gaming hours. Players can make their own levels and share them for free on the games player-made map store. The developer is even holding a contest to add the best player made games into the game's default maps.
While the level editor mode is quite complex and doesn't contain much direction, players can tap the question mark to be directed to the game's website with tutorial videos on using the level editor. I played a few player-made maps and they were quite fun. Of course, that little hiding spot I mentioned previously allowed me to get past some of the tougher levels that players made themselves.
With the expection of the hiding place problem, Dynamite Jack is a top notch game. Quality games like this don't pop up every day. This is one of those games I would recommend for all iPad owners, not just fans of this type of game.