JYDGE ($4.99) by 10tons is a dual-stick shooter that is a follow-up to the studio's previous hit, Neon Chrome. If you enjoyed other games like Kick Ass Commandos and ATOMINE, then you'll get a kick out of JYDGE.
It seems that dystopian futures are a popular trend lately, given some current events, and with recent releases like "Blade Runner 2049." While I'm one of the few out there who don't particularly care for the "Blade Runner" franchise, I still like the idea of dystopias, as they make for other interesting forms of art and entertainment, such as video games. I was a fan of Neon Chrome when it first came out, but I know that not everyone enjoys the roguelike aspect of it. Fortunately, JYDGE is here, and it's like an improved Neon Chrome that doesn't disappoint.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, JYDGE is stunningly beautiful. Everything in the game is rendered in 3D with a top-down perspective, so you get to see a lot of the level in a single glance. The world that JYDGE takes place in is dark and dim, but filled with bright neon lights that provide excellent contrast. Everything is also super futuristic and reminiscent of "RoboCop" and "Blade Runner 2049," from the flying police car to the fanfare at the end of a successful mission. It's easy to discern enemy targets from hostages, and the JYDGE unit just looks cool. Animations are smooth and fluid on my iPhone 8 Plus, so I had no issues with lag or choppy frame rates. The soundtrack is rather atmospheric and immersive, as it fits the dystopian nature perfectly. Sound effects are also a nice touch.
While JYDGE and Neon Chrome share the similarity of being a dual-stick shooter set in a dystopian world, JYDGE is not a procedurally generated roguelike, which is what Neon Chrome is. Instead, JYDGE features pre-made levels split up across four acts that are set and do not change, even if you play it multiple times. Each mission must be cleared with at least one medal before you can move on to the next one, and some require a certain number of medals before they're available.
You get the medals by completing specific objectives (three total) on each quest, and you can replay them to try and get ones you've missed. These objectives can be easy ones, such as "Destroy all targets" or "Rescue all hostages." The second and third goals are usually harder, as they'll want you to get exit under a certain time limit, or take no damage.
The controls in JYDGE are simple, intuitive, and work well. The bottom left corner of the screen is your virtual joystick for moving freely around the environment. The joystick on the bottom right will aim and automatically shoot once it determines a hostile enemy in range. A laser helps you see where you're aiming. A button above the aiming joystick lets you interact with the environment, such as looting crates and talking to hostages.
Once you have special weapons equipped, such as rockets, there is a button to use your special ammo instead of regular. A refresh button is also there for you to reload your weapon. Each special and ammo type have their own number of rounds, but you have infinite ammo, so it's more like a cooldown between rounds.
If you think having all of the buttons on-screen makes it too cluttered, you can toggle the control displays in the settings. There are other things you can change as well, including audio, display, and some gameplay elements.
As you kill enemies and loot crates, you'll acquire a nice amount of cash. The cash may be spent to purchase cyberware slots and cyberware upgrades. Cyberware are enhancements to the JYDGE unit that make it more potent in battle. Up to four cyberware items can be equipped (if you have the cash for all slots) and include things like reducing damage, electrify nearby hostiles, a laser-assisted drone, and more. Your weapon, the Gavel, also has upgrades for special weapons and ammo that you can buy. There's a ton of cyberware and gavel upgrades available, and they can alter your play style to your liking.
JYDGE is an incredible game for any dual-stick shooter fan.
JYDGE is an incredible game for any dual-stick shooter fan. The graphics look great and truly bring out the dystopian theme, along with the immersive soundtrack. Like other games in the genre, the controls are simple enough for anyone to pick up, and I had no issues with movement or shooting. The auto-shoot feature is also rather helpful, since it doesn't require any additional input from you. And with all of the objectives to complete and upgrades to unlock, there's plenty of replay value. Plus, being able to customize your JYDGE to suit your own play style is awesome.
While JYDGE is fantastic so far, I think the price for the game is a little high for an iOS game. For the launch, it's 50 percent off for the first week, but after that it will go up to $9.99. Since there are only 18 levels total, it doesn't seem like enough content to warrant the full price, especially on iOS. For the sale price it's fine, but otherwise, I feel a bit iffy on it's worth for mobile.
I'm having a lot of fun with JYDGE so far. I know real dystopias are no fun, but JYDGE makes it so when you're armed with a super weapon and a ton of enhancements to take out the baddies. The graphics are great and a nice homage to sci-fi series like "Blade Runner," and the music is well done. The controls work out nicely and the objectives prove to be rather challenging, so you'll definitely be spending some time with this game.
JYDGE is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for $4.99 for a limited time only. After the promotional period, it will go up to $9.99. JYDGE is also available on Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and XBox One for $14.99.