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(Played with VR and non–VR)
I was lucky to be able to review newly released Jupiter & Mars that actually holds VR and non-VR version in the same game. The game is about near-future and what all negative causes human had to the nature. Today is the Earth Day and launch day for this game, which couldn’t be more suitable time to buy this, since the game’s publisher Tigertron is donating a portion of proceeds from game sales to ocean causes.
Jupiter & Mars is love-adventure story of two dolphins, who are trying to fix the polluted sea from garbage human trash… I mean human’s garbage trash. All humans moved out from the Earth since it became unhabitable long time ago, leaving behind the destruction. When the game began, the narrator told little legend about the history of Earth and how earthwalkers roamed and destroyed the land and the sea. Then the Elders (whales) guided the dolphins and look after all the life in the sea. Jupiter & Mars didn’t have deep full-length story, but enough to keep everything going, which was OK to me in this type of game.
Gameplay & Controls
Gameplay and controls were simple, nothing special about them, other than I think the dolphins swam very slowly at times. Player can only play with one dolphin, Jupiter, while Mars is the one who attacks and breaks things under your command. Using echolocation I could see things around me more clearly and shooting bubble rings I could free trapped animals. Other thing to mention is the distance where I could see when using echolocation was rather short and the effect lasted very short time.
The VR is pretty sweet and works well, with not having any issues whatsoever. Playing the game with VR gives various options for the controls, that was something I’m always looking first when playing any game. What I don’t like is the 45° snap turn in VR games and Jupiter & Mars will allow me to change it to smooth turning which I was more than pleased with. I could move with the controller and with using my head as navigation way.
Jupiter & Mars had different levels, which gradually got harder as I went on. There were areas I couldn’t enter as I couldn’t swim fast enough or go deep enough. These areas were clearly marked with a mist or bubbles, which helped the gameplay. After getting ‘upgrades’ I went back to some older places to see what secrets they held.
Graphically this game looked nice and clear, but also little dated. Everything was like mysterious—futuristic—fantasy tale that suited with this theme. Lots of neon colours and animals with glowing tattoos and bizarre plants. I was surprised there wasn’t any map or minimap, but only a waypoint/compass. I didn’t get lost that much, though, when all the areas and places looked different.
I played this with headphones on both versions (VR and non-VR). The 3D audio was very accurate and all the underwater sounds were very realistic and the background music was a beat!!
With only ‘death’ being the areas where I had to restart, if get hit with some weird electro waves, I think it was the only difficulty. Sometimes when I had to search certain things, it took little time to find them all. Even the last level wasn’t that difficult for ‘an average everyday player’ like me. I’m not saying Jupiter & Mars is walking simulator, but more of an adventure game without direct deaths.
Jupiter & Mars gives me 90’s arcade game vibes, even with the music. The story was lovely and it really made me think all the trash that we are pushing to the sea 247. It was relaxing to play this, though, but also made me sad, since this kind of end might become true to us. Yes, we should definitely change our ways and you should try this out, VR or not :)
Review copy provided by the publisher Tigerton