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Lumber Jacked
Lumber Jacked

Punching Beavers? Just Another Day For Joe The Lumber Jack

April 11, 2013

Lumber Jacked ($0.99) by Everplay is a fast-paced platformer that will keep you on your toes as you run and punch beavers who get in your way. What’s not to like here?

I’ve been a fan of Everplay ever since they released Spell Sword, and then other hits like Free 2 Die (formerly called Left2Die). They release a wide variety of games, and each one is well crafted and fun. So when I saw that they were releasing a speed platformer, similar to Mikey Shorts, I was definitely intrigued.

So what we have in Lumber Jacked is a lumber jack (of course) named Joe. He’s been done wrong by the notorious Bustin Beaver and his fellow beaver bandits, and Joe is out to serve some justice! You know, with his fist. I love the cheeky plot and character names, especially Bustin Beaver. I mean, hey, this beaver could be the reason to get the game, right?

The graphics in this particular game look just like what you found in Spell Sword. I appreciate this, because I am a huge fan of that game, so it was nice to see the visuals translated into a speed platformer. And the music? I love the fact that this platformer sets itself apart from the retro trend by implementing a nice metal-themed soundtrack. Nothing completes the run-jump-punch experience than some nice metal tunes.

Controls in this game are fairly simple, with buttons on the bottom left to move Joe left and right, and action buttons on the other side for jumping and punching. You can perform wall jumps as well by jumping on a wall and then tapping the button repeatedly. I found the controls to be decent, but not as good as those found in Mikey Shorts. I think it’s something about the default placement of the buttons, but fortunately, you are able to configure the controls to your liking in the options.

At the moment, there are two areas for Joe to go through, each with 30 levels. There’s a third box in the area selection screen that just says “Coming Soon,” so hopefully more content is already on its way. In each level, Joe will have to make his way to the end of the level, where Bustin Beaver is (usually on a tree stump), and punch him to complete it. There are also Bustin’s minions to worry about as well, but all you have to do is give them a nice punch to get rid of them. If you don’t, and they touch you, it’s game over! The game is more than just going from Point A to Point B too, as you will eventually have to figure out puzzles while avoiding death from spikes or annoying beavers.

Each level is timed, with the timer starting the moment the level loads up on the screen, so you’d better be fast! I am not a fan of this implementation though, as I prefer how it is in Mikey Shorts, where the timer starts the moment you go past a barrier in the beginning. Having this would make Lumber Jacked even better, because I often find myself restarting a level because I already lost a few seconds in the beginning.

And just like there were the Golden Shorts for you to collect in Mikey Shorts, there are red coats in each level that you can collect. If you can collect these and beat the goal time on each level, then you will earn three stars. If you just meet the goal time, but don’t get the collectible coat, then you get two stars. And anything other than that, you get one measly star. If you’re a real platformer perfectionist, you’ll probably be replaying levels many times in order to get three stars on every level.

Lumber Jacked comes with iCloud integration for game saves, which is great, since your game data will go with you everywhere, no matter which device you’re on. Unfortunately, there’s no Game Center integration, which is a bit disappointing. It would have been a nice addition to see how your completion time on levels or areas would compare to those of your friends, and who doesn’t love achievements?

This is a fun speed platformer, reminiscent of the old-school games that graced our childhood. However, the default controls are not perfect, and will need some minor tweaking from the player in order to find the perfect configuration (I wish everything was like the controls in Mikey Shorts). I would also prefer to see a starting barrier in each level to start the clock, as the current implementation makes you feel rushed. I am also not a fan of the lack of background support, since you will be kicked out to the title screen if you exit the game during a level.

Still, I recommend checking this game out. I mean, how could you not want to punch a beaver named Bustin Beaver? You can get Lumber Jacked in the App Store as a universal download for $0.99.

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