Apple Jack is back! The sequel to what was surely the best game ever released on Xbox Indie Games is now here, in all its green glory. But what is Apple Jack 2?
It’s a charming, polished, brain teasing, addictive platformer – that’s what. You play Jack – our hero, who looks like any other human except he has an apple for a head. Just like the first game – no further explanation is given apart from that!
Poor Jack is bored and depressed. The game starts by showing him at his menial job at a plastics factory, reminiscing about the events in Apple Jack 1. Suddenly he flips, tears all his clothes off apart from his tie (revealing him to be completely green all over) and he jumps through a window and off into the countryside. And that’s the plot!
So he has to run, jump, solve puzzles and stay alive through 60 levels – all of them challenging, polished, charming and brain teasing. I really can’t express what a surprise it is to find a game this slick and polished on the Indie Games service – it has a touch of professionalism to it that many other full price games could learn from. Some of the levels are so wonderfully frustrating… they had me howling mad as I so nearly completed them time and time again – but the game always inspires one more attempt.
There’s a charm to this game, through the art style to the sense of humour and the wilfully silly plot that really makes me happy – I remember laughing at the surreal-ness of Apple Jack 1. In that game all of the levels were named after towns in Suffolk (such as Bures, Lower Melford etc) – it was just incredibly random.
It plays a little like Super Mario Bros 2. Remember that one? One of the NES games. Like this, it is a platformer where you have to jump around, stomp cartoon enemies, throw them sometimes etc.
But I have to say – this plays better. I don’t remember enjoying any 2D platformer quite this much, not Sonic 1 or 2, not Super Mario World on the SNES, nothing. This plays like the best platform games of the nineties, but with more charm and much more intelligent puzzles and level design.
There’s one other important thing to mention – the price. It’s 80 Microsoft Points. That’s, like 60 pence! What else can you buy for 60 pence? It’s as good as free!
So – buy this game. Buy it and while you’re at it, buy the prequel as well. Show support for this tiny, one person company – the wonderfully named My Owl Software.
Apple Jack 2 has been great fun to play – a wonderfully positive little game that deserves every success. I hope you try it and I hope you enjoy it too!
Apple Jack 2 is out now to download on Xbox Live Indie Games