Indie Workshop #4 (Mobile Device Edition): Jelly Jiggle Review

Welcome to the fourth installment of Indie Workshopwhere I take a look at some of the games of aspiring Indie developers and give them a honest review while also attempting to give them a little exposure.

I truly encourage you all to get involved with the Indie games featured here and check out the developers – they work long and hard to bring you what potentially may be the next generation of video games, so its worth your time supporting them!

This is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a tablet/mobile device game so as always, your feedback is really appreciated!

Wobble on the Wild Side – A Jelly Jiggle Review

JellyJiggle_Logo_RGB

“Ah, another endless runner on the market… Yet another civilization-type game? How many more games are they going to slap that character’s face on? Just another day at the office of video game apps. Your typical soft vanilla games for your mother, father and grandparents to play in their spare time… But what’s this? Jelly Jiggle? What on earth… Oh my.”

Those of you who regularly follow my Twitter feed know that I very rarely go near tablet gaming, and there’s good reason for that – with the occasional rare exception, almost every game you can find on your preferred mobile gaming device is catered to what I like to call the “family” market – games that offer a mild challenge for those who do not normally indulge in gaming, while providing a primordial experience for anyone that’s ever held a controller for more than 10 minutes. With that in mind, then, I was dubious as to whether I should give Hanger18’s Jelly Jiggle a chance, with the fear that it might just be another plushy game that wraps you in cotton wool for its 2-3 hour duration.

To quote a popular internet meme: “never have I been more wrong.”

Jelly Jiggle is a 3D puzzle game created by developers Hanger18. In Jelly Jiggle, players assume the role of Jay Jello, whom they guide through a series of levels moving other cubes of jelly onto specific platforms. The premise sounds simple enough, but as the number of jellies you need to transport increases and the obstacles in your way multiply, the difficulty sky-rockets. Hanger18 describes Jelly Jiggle as a way to get your “old grey cells moving” – mine moved so fast playing this game, they nearly spontaneously combusted.

As you progress through Jelly Jiggle, a variety of storyboards explain how your different consumables interact with the environment, and how you move Jay throughout. The game uses an on-screen directional pad and the controls are extremely fluid for a tablet game – particularly one that is Indie. You swiftly learn that your consumables – which consist of bombs to destroy obstacles and teleporters to instantly move a jelly to its required location – are extremely limited, and as such very valuable. More than once during my play-through, I was confronted with the difficult choice of whether to tackle a puzzle head on, or use a consumable to make it that much easier to conquer.

There is one respite in the form of environmental collectibles – certain objects light up and, when bumped by Jay, will relinquish consumables such as teleporters, or coins which can be used to purchase consumables and, with enough, extra worlds.

Consumables can be used to make levels considerably easier.

Consumables can be used to make levels considerably easier.

Let us not pretend, though, that Jelly Jiggle’s concept is anything groundbreaking or new – games involving the “move x block to y location” puzzle have been around for years, and some franchises such as Legend of Zelda incorporate it in almost every single one of its titles – but Jelly Jiggle is certainly one of the most refined examples currently on the market. The colour palette is absolutely stunning, and the soundtrack is silky and simplistic and compliments the game beautifully.

On top of this, Jelly Jiggle takes some of the better features from aforementioned “soft” games and makes them its own. For example, each level has 3 stars to collect that require you to complete the level under specific conditions. These stars are entirely optional, but add a layer of re-playability which gives Jelly Jiggle that extra pinch of value for its money. For those people who are completionists like myself, Jelly Jiggle still gives you plenty to do after you’ve defeated a level for the first time.

The full game features 3 different worlds, and each one of them is beautifully designed.

The full game features 3 different worlds, and each one of them is beautifully designed and unique.

At this point, I’d love to be able to call it quits on this review and tell you that Jelly Jiggle is a game that is completely without fault – and for the majority of you, it probably is. At its core, there is absolutely nothing wrong with Jelly Jiggle. It is a gorgeous puzzle game that will keep you entertained for hours on end. One caveat however – this is not an easy puzzle game.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate easy games, and I love it when games provide a challenge, within reason. I played Jelly Jiggle to level 11 of the first world, even though I had access to all three worlds. The reason for this was because I was unable to actually progress any further due to the fact the difficulty tends to peak once you’re past the tutorials. Maybe its just because I suck at this sort of puzzle game, and Jelly Jiggle made a mockery of me, but I really feel as though there’s this vast jump in difficulty that may put some people off. As an example, I spent nearly 20 minutes trying to solve level 7, and actually had to ask the developer if it was possible without bombs and teleporters, because the solution is so niche I probably never would’ve thought of it if I hadn’t chipped away at it for so long.

The game becomes fiendishly difficult - but is that a bad thing?

The game becomes fiendishly difficult – but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

I get the feeling that, for this reason, Jelly Jiggle in its current state will appeal to a specific group of people and will without doubt divide opinions. Despite its cute exterior, Jelly Jiggle could potentially become a game for sadists – some levels are blindingly hard and the longer you play, the more it starts to feel like you’re just throwing things at a wall to see what sticks – but of course that is my opinion. For those hardcore gamers out there who love a challenge, you’ll find none better than the puzzler that is Jelly Jiggle; it will rise to meet you time and time again. For those who enjoy a nice, relaxing puzzle however – you may not find much for you here.

In conclusion, I don’t wish to give Jelly Jiggle a hard time for being difficult, because at the start of this article I complained that too many games on the tablet market are targeted at casual gamers, but I feel its important to state that its difficulty may not appeal to everyone.

Ask yourself this; have you ever been in a situation where a particular puzzle or challenge has stumped you for minutes, hours – even days – but you refuse to give up out of stubborn disregard for how complicated the task may be, because you know eventually you’ll crack it? If so, you may just enjoy Jelly Jiggle – because it will become the biggest nightmare of a puzzle game you’ll ever play – but in absolutely the most beautiful way possible.

Title of Indie Game: Jelly Jiggle.
Most appealing quality?: The stunning colour palette. I haven’t seen such a beautiful tablet game in a very long time.
Most disappointing quality?: Very little disappoints in Jelly Jiggle. I only wish there was a little more back-story included.
How much did I play?: I played up to level 11 on the first world, but will no doubt return to try and defeat the game in its entirety.
How much does it cost?: Jelly Jiggle is currently available as a free demo on iOS and Android which includes 18 free-to-play levels. Alternatively, you can pick up the full PRO version on iOS (£0.64/$0.99) or Android (£2.34/$3.62) which includes an additional 32 levels.
Where can I find it?: Information about Jelly Jiggle can be found at the developer’s website.

Jelly Jiggle is a 3D puzzle game created by Hanger18, available now on iOS and Android. You can follow Hanger18’s progress with Jelly Jiggle via Twitter.

All reviewing content, including images, is used with consent of the developer. A massive thank you to Hanger18 for providing me with a review copy of Jelly Jiggle.

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