Developer: FireFruitForge and Everplay Interactive
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

LumberJacked-12Lumberjacks are the hot new trend in gaming, what with Jack Lumber, FIST OF AWESOME, and now FireFruitForge and Everplay Interactive’s Lumber Jacked here to violently romanticize those bearded, flannel-wearing cutters of trees. However, there’s more than one way to cut down a tree, and Lumber Jacked‘s approach is to be a trial platformer, similar to League of Evil, with players trying to navigate hazardous levels as quickly as possible to punch a beaver at the end of them. Because screw beavers.

Players are trying to not just complete levels as quickly as possible, but also to collect flannel shirts that are located in tricky spots. Who doesn’t love flannel? The game uses physics-based elements like stacks of boxes that can topple over and more moving pieces in its platforms than most titles in the genre. Plus, FireFruitForge’s unique pixel art style is persistent throughout it – fans of Spellsword and Terra Noctis will appreciate Lumber Jacked.

LumberJacked-05However, the mechanics leave something to be desired. Players can and will die by their dash punch not going as far as they think, as the player still moves after the attack is done, and it comes very suddenly, before the player’s death is actually seen. It winds up being incredibly frustrating.

As well, the wall-jumping causes players to actually stick to walls, while not touching anything will cause them to just slide down slowly. It’s well-intentioned, but accidentally grazing a wall during a jump feels, dare I say, hellish.

Ultimately, the frustration with the game proves to be too much. These kinds of titles are often walking a fine line between difficulty being a rewarding challenge or just frustrating, and more often than not, it’s the latter. The game also doesn’t boast a massive number of levels, and the game never gets too difficult. The physics-based elements could have played a much bigger role, because they’re the thing that really stands out when they appear, they just don’t pop up often enough.

While fans of trial platformers will likely find something to enjoy here, and the basics are appealing enough, it shouldn’t be the first trial platformer that players dive into.

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