May 24, 17
Help Me Jack: Save the Dogs
by App Games Team!
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Help Me Jack is a hack and slash adventure created by BaoBab Net. You follow the titular character on a quest to save the world and defeat a variety of enemies. Along the way, you'll level up, equip and enhance new gear, save numerous hostages, and generally be a force to be reckoned with. With a large collection of levels and challenges, as well as multiple modes of play, Help Me Jack offers a content-heavy experience that rewards continuous play. Is Help Me Jack worth your time, or does it fail to impress? Let's jump right in!

At first, Help Me Jack can be a bit confusing, with its collection of available menus and features. However, the game is great at teaching the player slowly within their first hours of the experience. Help Me Jack can feel a bit overwhelming at first, but throwing caution to the wind and jumping right in is the best way to figure the game out. Gameplay is simple enough. “Stage Battle” is the most prominent mode, and is separated into a nice amount of levels spread across various worlds. New worlds bring fresh environments and new eye candy as well, as the game looks great throughout. Each level has up to 5 stars to earn, based upon your performance and clearing time. Besides boss fight levels, most of the stages will have you running through the environment, saving hostages and defeating enemies. These usually culminate in “contaminated” enemy fights, where you take on more powerful foes than your typical canon fodder.

As you rescue hostages and defeat enemies, you'll gain new gear and experience, as well as battery power to be spent on a variety of upgrades and items. Gear is easy to distinguish, as the inventory system is natural and intuitive. You'll always know what the most powerful gear is at any time, and upgrading your gear is just as simple. As you acquire new sets of armor and weapons, you'll be able to break down your old equipment as a means to upgrade your new stuff. This is fun and rewarding, as you truly feel the power of your character increase with each new item.

Clearing levels also goes towards your overall experience level, which strengthens your character's core abilities. Additionally, you'll unlock new skills to equip and use as your level rises. I started with just a basic attack button, but by level 5, I had earned a whirlwind ability, a devastating jump slash, and more.

As you level up, new modes of play are also unlocked. Besides “Stage Battle”, there is “Eternal Battle” and “Arena Battle”. These are pretty self explanatory, offering some fun distraction from the main “Stage Battle” mode. “Eternal Battle” is a good opportunity to grind out some battery power, and “Arena Battle” is great for honing your skills and becoming a more proficient fighter.

The game is also great looking, and was able to visually impress me despite being contained to a mobile sized screen. Effects are full of life and style, and the game is crisp and colorful. Dropping into a level is quite exciting, but nothing comes close to how great the game looks in the heat of combat. As you pull of abilities and decimate large groups of enemies, you'll love just how clean the game looks and feels. That's a big positive as well; the game feels absolutely wonderful. Hack and slashes can get a bit dull depending on their combat system, but thanks to Help Me Jack's plentiful upgrades and ever evolving move set, you won't notice much repetition.

That being said, not everything in Help Me Jack is pristine. The game has several achievements and daily missions to accomplish, and while fun, are tucked away within the menu. Unlike games like Jetpack Joyride, you are unable to see what your current missions are while in a level. You'll have to check the menu and remember for later. Additionally, while the enemies are modeled great, I would've enjoyed seeing a bit more variety throughout each world. New worlds bring new enemies, but by the time you hit level 5 of each world, you've seen most of the enemies you'll deal with. Some extra enemies or more distinct “contaminated” enemies would've been nice to see. Additionally, some of the more complex aspects of the game (like the generator and hiring recruits) aren't explained to their full capacity, and can be more confusing than necessary.

However, these missteps are easily overlooked since the rest of Help Me Jack is so dang good. I'm a pretty big fan of hack and slash games, and by proxy, I can be a pretty harsh critic. Help Me Jack was able to impress me due to it's mixture of role playing elements, crafting, and excellent combat. It's not unreasonably difficult, but you also won't blow through every mission with ease. Help Me Jack offers a healthy amount of challenge that feels rewarding and well-earned. Generally speaking, that perfectly explains Help Me Jack in a nutshell. It's obvious that a lot of work went into the title, and it shows. If you're looking for a fun and exciting hack and slash that has enough content to warrant plenty of hours invested, look no further. Help Me Jack is a great time for hack and slash fans looking for a proper experience.

Reviewed by Matt




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