Indie developer Necrophone Games has put together Jazzpunk – a darling little title that offers you the chance to explore a world crafted by one part tribute to computer-inspired pop culture mixed with two parts irreverent humour. Available on Steam, I’m reticent to share too much of the storyline since it would spoil your experience.
While finding objects, completing quests and exploring the environments to move the story forward, there are too many pop culture references to count. Tributes to Street Fighter II, Quake, James Bond, Evil Dead and a disturbing number of hobo makeout scenes will pelt your senses. The exotic rhythm and the 60’s vibe suits the simple polygonic shapes and flat textures. Rather than coming off as cheap, it strings itself well together in an oddly consistent presentation.
Jazzpunk is an odd flavour that needs patience to enjoy. It also attacks you with puns and references to things often too old for younger audiences – but it is also a game that can be played with an audience – in fact, the term “game” may be too limiting for this particular title. It is a story told through exploring, and while it could have come off as cheesy it straddles the line between convincing and inane surprisingly well.