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Jake Escapes HD

For:   Also on: iPhoneiPad
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Up, up, and away

Product: Jake Escapes HD | Developer: Just Funny Games | Publisher: Just Funny Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade, Platform | Players: 1 | File size: 205MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
Jake Escapes HD iPhone, thumbnail 1
World-renowned tea leaf Jake loves to escape. From Area 51 to Paris, if there's intercontinental fleeing on your mind, then Jake's your man.

Inexplicably, most of Jake's daring getaways involve scampering up the sides of buildings collecting banal bric-a-brac, but who are we to judge?

In Jake Escapes HD, the titular criminal is on a quest for the Holy Grail. Well, the "G.R.A.I.L.", to be more precise. Unfortunately for the superstar thief, everyone else and his mafioso dog is sniffing around trying to discover the G.R.A.I.L.'s exact location in Area 51, too.

Neighbourhood Watch

To break into Area 51, Jake's gonna have to climb. A lot. This is achieved by swiping left, right, and downward, though there's no way to drop back down a level as you ascend.

Making things more complicated are unreachable ledges - which force you to find circuitous routes up a building - a law enforcement officer hot on your tail, and a host of residents all too happy to send you tumbling to your doom.

Thankfully, you've a laser beam to hand which, with a single prod of the screen, can terminate those careless enough to cross your path.

Each exotic locale you visit in Jake Escapes HD presents you with numerous challenges. These start out relatively simply - a run to the rooftop, say - and culminate in a boss fight. In between these missions, you're sent on scavengers hunts, seeking out randomly placed items or dispatching residents to grab their wares.

Mile High Sigh

Boss fights aside, there's not a huge amount of variety in Jake Escapes HD's gameplay. It's pretty much a case of swipe-clamber-grab until you've pilfered everything on your shopping list.

That would be fine if Jake Escapes HD could muster up the kind of true reflex-testing drama it's clearly striving for, but it's all far too pedestrian to genuinely thrill.

Unfortunately, the game's only real challenge stems from its frequently unwieldy controls. Jake incorrectly interprets your swipes with depressing regularity, and it's all too easy to hurtle past an item you're after with no means of backtracking.

This frustration is compounded by confusing objectives, with success often wholly dependent on trial and error.

Impressive facade

It's a bit of a shame that Jake Escapes HD never quite finds its rhythm, because its polished, slightly deranged presentation is pretty irresistible.

It's got buckets of personality, arresting visuals, and an impressive soundtrack that complements each location perfectly.

Unfortunately, though, it's impossible to overlook Jake Escapes HD's flimsy mechanics, wonky controls, and plodding pace. What you're left with is a tension-free cat-and-mouse climber that, for all its frantic scampering, fails to reach the dizzy heights it's aiming for.
Jake Escapes HD
Reviewer photo
Matt Wales | 22 May 2012
An attractively presented arcade climber that's seriously undermined by frustrating controls and unadventurous design
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