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Jettomero: Hero of the Universe
Jettomero: Hero of the Universe

Genre: Indie
Developer: Official Site: http://ghosttimegames.com/
Publisher:
Release Date:
September 2017
Jettomero: Hero of the Universe Review
Review By @ 04:47pm 02/10/17
XBOXONE
Judging a book by its cover in the world of videogames is a time-honoured tradition that began decades ago with looking at screenshots on the back of boxes sitting on store shelves. And then deciding which game was best for you. In today’s modern caffeine-powered digital age forming an aesthetic attachment to a game usually comes soon after viewing a trailer on YouTube for the first time. Doubly so if it’s an indie title that falls well under the radar dominated by higher profile, bigger budget, releases.

Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is one of those titles where the look - comprised of wonderful art and animation - grabs your immediate attention. An indie sci-fi romp where you’re in control of the titular Jettomero, a large clumsy robot simply trying to get a better understanding of its history. All the while flying from habitable planet to habitable planet trying not to destroy buildings and all the tiny people going about their day.


Charming would be an apt way to describe Jettomero: Hero of the Universe, where the sheer style of the presentation and the way in which Jettomero stumbles around like a toddler trying to master that thing we call walking is hard to resist.

The only real downside, is that the actual game portion feels one or two mechanics away from being complete. And matching the presentation. Instead what you have here is an almost meditative experience, a simple loop of exploration with an even simpler loop of robot battles in the form of button mashing. There are also word jumbles thrown in too. It’s telling when one of the biggest motivators, in pure gameplay terms, is finding different robot parts and then chopping and changing Jettomero’s look to suit your own tastes.

Telling, in that Jettomero’s look is the reason you’ll keep playing.


The animation itself is wonderful, and reminiscent of the computer-generated sequences from Futurama coupled with something like Adventure Time or even Rick & Morty. So much so that the simple nature of the actual gameplay never really stops you from wanting to keep going and uncover the mystery surrounding Jettomero’s origins. Little bits of narrative that come in the form of short digital comic book sequences that are well written and interesting. And if you do find yourself engaged with the story, the simple act of watching Jettomero stumble around apologizing for unintended destruction begins to take on an almost tragically comic feel.

Again, this all comes down to the look. Where the art and animation elevate simple mechanics into an experience that you can comfortably enjoy for a few hours. Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is less a case of style over substance than it is substance existing to showcase and highlight a style. The procedurally generated planetary bodies to explore, randomised encounters, great soundtrack, and distinct art style all come together to provide an aesthetically charming and memorable experience.


Which brings us back to judging a book by its cover. In the case of Jettomero: Hero of the Universe, either the presentation strikes a chord hidden deep inside you or it doesn’t. If it’s the former then of course it’s an experience worth checking out. If it’s the latter then, well, it might feel as empty as the space between all the different planets Jettomero travels to.
What we liked
  • Charming art and animation
  • Jettomero’s walk in particular
  • Even with the unintended destruction, it’s a relaxing experience
  • Great soundtrack
  • Even better photo mode
What we didn't like
  • If the art style doesn’t speak to you then there’s not much else
  • Mechanics can feel sparse and unconnected to the core experience
  • Some of the word jumbles to solve become overly complicated
  • Also, tying word jumbles to recovering lost memory feels like a stretch
More
We gave it:
7.0
OUT OF 10
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