Review: Job the Leprechaun

Store page / View this review on Steam

Review copy provided by developer via Curator Connect

It’s getting harder and harder to recommend games that fulfill only the basic requirements of their genres. Platformers are particularly afflicted with this problem, as the gulf between truly great and truly perfunctory experiences has widened with the thousands of indie titles to be found on Steam now. Job the Leprechaun is precisely the kind of game I’m talking about, the kind that has decent controls and a common gameplay hook and doesn’t mess anything up, but will be instantly forgotten the moment you finish it or give up on it. If not for some fine pixel art and challenging levels I might warn you to give it a pass, but it manages to clear the low bar for fun and I can’t fault it for that.

job1

I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that Job’s girlfriend Eri has been kidnapped, and you’ve got to get him through 40 levels of platforming to get her back. It’s not as simple as getting to the exit though, because you’ve got to collect all the shamrocks in each level to make the magic door to the next appear. Standing in your way are all manner of imps and devils and zombies and gargoyles, each shuffling back and forth or up and down hoping to bump you into an early grave. Fortunately you can dispatch them with a simple tip of your hat, as well as turn back any fireballs hucked your way. Every 20 levels you face a boss, and there’s one bonus level tucked away where you get to bounce around as a cow.

That’s… pretty much it, really. A few of the mechanics keep Job from being entirely bog-standard, his hat chief among them. Your only attack is literally tipping your hat, which I guess bops monsters hard enough to make them bleed out and die. While tipped it also makes for a shield that reflects fireballs from aggravating monsters like worms and gargoyles. These projectiles can dispatch monsters but also collect shamrocks for you, and of course there are a couple levels that make use of this. Bulbous sprouts can be knocked over and weird trumpet-eared things can be whacked to shoot things, both providing the same advantages as reflected shots. Even some trees can be whacked to produce extra lives or hidden shamrocks. I feel like I should also mention the cows you can bounce off of like springs, but only because they’re really cute.

job2

The mechanics are solid, and held together with some clean, colorful pixel art that helps give Job and his foes a bit of character. You’ll need a solid grasp of the mechanics by the end too, because the back half of the game can be pretty tricky with how many enemies and moving platforms it throws at you. Time will be your worst enemy there, as you only get a minute to complete each level and the more complex ones will take up most of that time. That means the whole game is going to take you around 40 minutes at most, unless you’re really terrible at it. There are no secrets to find and only three achievements, two of those being for beating the game. You can absolutely find deeper, more interesting platformers than this but it does offer a little more than the absolute baseline experience, and I think that earns it a pass. Don’t plan your evening around Job the Leprechaun but feel free to pick it up if you want something quick and familiar.

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