Developer: Pixbits
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 2.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5, iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The 2D mining and crafting genre is becoming a crowded one on iOS, with The Blockheads leading the way (in this writer’s humble opinion), Terraria making the jump to iOS, and now Junk Jack X – a follow-up to the 2011 2D crafting game that launched on iOS. And for those looking for a fun 2D crafting game can’t go wrong with Junk Jack X.

JunkJackX-6Now, as someone intrigued by the genre but not an expert on them per se, I find the way that a game like Junk Jack X decides to just leave players in the middle of nowhere to start off with, left to fend for themselves, absolutely fascinating. In a world of handholding it’s kind of refreshing to be left to fend for myself. Of course then nightfall comes and I’m being assaulted by zombies, slime monsters, and spiders constantly, and I’d kind of appreciate some hand-holding! The ability to zoom way out to see where one has been and what the upcoming landscape may hold is great, especially handy for after a death, trying to make it back to the place one worked from.

The obvious comparison for Junk Jack X is to Terraria, which released the same day, and I have to give the slight edge to Junk Jack X because it features online multiplayer and because the game is actually built for mobile devices and touchscreens. The difference is just so apparent; movement and mining is so much easier with an interface and game world built for the touch screen. I think Terraria‘s more structured gameplay and better combat system, along with the fact that Junk Jack X has items that break too often, gives it some conceptual edges. If Junk Jack X were a PC game, I might rule Terraria the winner, but purely as a mobile game? Junk Jack X comes out way ahead.

JunkJackX-12That’s because with Junk Jack X I don’t fight the controls. They work with me to make for a fun game. The larger iPad interface feels better and provides more crafting slots, but the iPhone version doesn’t suffer at all. There’s plenty of replay value with different planets to travel to in the expansive adventure mode. And of course there’s the addition of online multiplayer, which makes Junk Jack X a top-of-its-class crafting game. There’s just something about playing the game with a friend that makes it more special. Strangers? That’s a very different story. Fear the griefers, and the ones who want to just steal stuff!

Still, Junk Jack X is the whole package for fans of crafting games.

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