Parents' Guide to

Pumpkin Jack

By Matt Cabral, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Fun platformer has cartoon violence, spooky style.

Pumpkin Jack Poster Image

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Despite the enormous popularity of Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, its bony protagonist hasn't made a game appearance since Disney Infinity. Thankfully, the titular anti-hero of Pumpkin Jack should satisfy those who might be missing Jack Skellington and his spooky world. This new Jack is also a lanky, confident character who feels right at home in fog-blanketed swamps, haunted forests, and moonlit cornfields. In fact, his scary stomping grounds are the absolute highlight of the game, as every lush, atmospheric level is like a love letter to all things Halloween.

But even if you're not partial to jack-o'-lanterns, scarecrows, and things that go bump in the night, Pumpkin Jack's polished, well-paced gameplay fuels a fantastic platforming romp that fans of the genre should appreciate. A solid mix of combat, jumping challenges, light puzzling, and boss battles are supported by tight controls and clever level design. Toss in thrilling rides on mine carts and runaway horses, as well as special abilities -- such as removing Jack's head to solve puzzles, or sending his sidekick crow into battle -- and the adventure continually keeps things fresh. Combat encounters aren't especially deep or strategic, but progressively unlocking new weapons guarantees the button-mashing melees never grow tiresome. The game also contains a couple of frustrating stretches, made worse by the absence of selectable difficulty settings, but frequent checkpoints help soften the blow of these spikes. If you're craving a smile-inducing platformer with spooky style to spare, Jack's got your back.

Game Details

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