Developer: Ghost Time Games
Publisher: Ghost Time Games
Release Date: 15/09/2017
Format(s): Xbox One (Reviewed), PC, Mac, Linux
I can always appreciate a bizarre game that’s totally different to the norm, and Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is just that. I mean, the idea of giant robots battling and destroying cities might not seem too unique, yet the way it’s implemented here is just so charming and innocent that it’s hard not to fall in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t some brilliant game that breaks boundaries – it’s just nice, relaxing, and will keep a smile on your face during the whole of your time playing it.
Jettomero: Hero of the Universe puts you into the metallic shoes of Jettomero, a huge robot that’s found himself lost deep in Space and not knowing what his role is within the whole Universe. Tragic, right? As a means to try and find out why he exists, Jettomero travels throughout Solar Systems and visits different planets as he looks to find out his purpose. This means accidentally stomping across cities and ruining them of course, but hey, how else is our lovable hero going to find his way in life?
There isn’t a whole lot to the story that’ll really blow you away, but there’s an undeniable charm to it that’ll ensure that you’ll get hooked right in. Jettomero is made out to be such an innocent and fragile humungous robot, yet always finds himself causing chaos on each planet he lands on – the sweet little guy is constantly apologising though, with little speech bubbles popping up to show he feels bad for his destructive ways. Honestly, I’ve said it once already, but the whole experience will just keep a smile on your face.
The main bulk of gameplay will see you boosting your way across Space as you seek out new Solar Systems. Of course, you can’t boost without fuel, so you’ve got to discover more across all of the different planets. This means flying your way towards them and exploring, all whilst crushing cities and stomping on the ground as you look for new robot parts. Once you’ve finally got enough fuel, you can head off to the next Solar System and continue the story… well… after you’ve beaten the evil robot threat of the system, that is.
Every Solar System you come across will have a planet that homes another giant robot that Jettomero will have to defeat in battle if he wants to progress through the game. Everything about Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is incredibly simple in design though, and the battles themselves are exactly the same – they just consist of button-mashing quick time events where you fire eye lasers at the enemy robot until they die. Typically, that might seem a little dull, yet there’s something about Jettomero: Hero of the Universe that makes it work. Maybe I’ve just been lulled in by its seemingly endless charm though…
When you defeat a robot you take part in another mini-game that sees you using a cypher to try and decipher an extra paragraph of the narrative. It’s through this mini-game that you find out more about Jettomero and actually progress the story, with a small comic-book style cutscene playing out when you solve each puzzle. As mentioned, there isn’t a whole lot to the story, but it’s interesting to see the origin of Jettomero and what exactly his role as ‘Hero of the Universe’ consists of.
Besides battling robots and wreaking destruction upon each world, Jettomero is also able to stomp the ground on each planet to try and discover all-new parts to customise his appearance. Don’t worry too much though – these parts are typically marked out for you, so you won’t have to stomp around endlessly as a means to find some brand new head or set of arms for our hero.
There’s a surprisingly diverse selection of different parts for Jettomero to equip himself with, and some of them can make for some pretty bizarre combinations. Unfortunately, they don’t do anything to spice up gameplay which is a shame, with every different combination of parts in the game simply offering a cosmetic change. Still, it gives players something else to look out for when scouring every nook and cranny of the planets in each Solar System.
One thing I absolutely love about Jettomero: Hero of the Universe is the visual style, with the game adopting a colourful, cartoony look that (despite being used a lot in video games these days) actually manages to feel distinctly unique. Much like every other aspect of the game it’s utterly bizarre, but somehow fitting for the strange nature of the game itself. Something that absolutely needs pointing out is Jettomero’s walking animation – it’s so awkward and zany, yet I couldn’t help but keep laughing at it as he clumsily smashed apart the countless buildings around him.
It won’t take you long to beat the game at all, with only nine enemy robots to vanquish in all. However, you’re able to actually carry on venturing through the endless procedurally generated Universe afterwards and find out more about Jettomero and his journey. Admittedly, there isn’t a whole lot of variety to the experience, so it’s easy to get bored – it was charming enough to keep me hooked for a while longer after completion, though I think the Spotify playlist I had playing helped a bit with that too.
I really enjoyed playing through Jettomero: Hero of the Universe, but it definitely won’t be for everyone. I mean, there isn’t a whole lot to the gameplay and the repetitive nature of the experience is noticeable despite how short the core game might be. It’s absolutely bizarre too, so it’s definitely going to have more of a cult following as opposed to a mainstream fanbase.
If you enjoy a charming little adventure though, you too might find yourself falling under Jettomero: Hero of the Universe’s spell. I can fully appreciate that it isn’t the best game anyone is ever going to play, but it’s one that kept me entertained and smiling during its short play-time. You can’t ask for more than that, really.