App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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10tons has a pretty stellar track record when it comes to mobile releases. Even though they stick pretty heavily to one genre (dual stick shooters), they usually find ways to put new and interesting twists on each of their games to make them feel unique. Although all of this is mostly also true for JYDGE (their latest mobile port), it isn’t quite as satisfying as the games that came before it.
JYDGE takes place in a dystopian future where you play a cybernetic law enforcement agent known as a Jydge that storms into crime-ridden areas, killing all criminals on sight. Each level of the game has you landing your police vehicle in a stage and completing objectives on relatively small, self-contained, dual stick shooter maps.
On each level, your objectives may vary slightly, but most of them are some variation of “kill the bad guys and stay alive.” This proves more and more difficult as you progress through the game, but JYDGE also features a robust customization system that allows you to upgrade and tweak your character with things like extra armor, bullets that automatically miss civilians, and more.
The main progression system in JYDGE isn’t to simply go from level to level. Instead, each stage provides a set of objectives that players need to complete to earn badges, and earning these badges can unlock new sets of levels and other ways of upgrading your Jydge.
This makes JYDGE a lot more about replaying the same levels over and over again to try and complete objectives like “Complete this stage in 24 seconds” or “Don’t take any damage.” For a game that is about fine-tuning your character’s attributes, the idea of customizing your Jydge to complete these challenges sounds great, but the game almost immediately starts repeating objective types, which keeps this system from feeling interesting.
Nothing to see here
The repetitive nature of JYDGE is a bit of a bummer, but that doesn’t mean it’s action is boring. This game has the same quality control and slick presentation of all of 10tons releases, making it one of the finest feeling dual stick shooters out on mobile (especially if you play with an MFi controller).
That said, JYDGE’s gimmicks aren’t nearly as interesting or well executed as Neon Chrome’s roguelike progression or Time Recoil’s slo-motion antics. So, although it’s an experience that may control well, it just doesn’t feel as special as other 10tons releases.
The bottom line
JYDGE is a fine dual stick shooter that can challenge you for hours. The only real problem is that its challenges grow repetitive extremely quickly. There is something satisfying about upgrading your character to your liking to take on these repeated objectives, but it’s just not as interesting as other concepts that have been used in 10tons other (and better) dual stick shooters.