Juju is a very colorful platformer and is extremely similar to titles such as Rayman and Donkey Kong Country. However, does it have anything that sets it apart?
It’s starting to feel like no matter how much I tell myself, okay no more platformers, I keep going to them. They seem to be strangely addicting in that way for me. Juju is no different. From the first time I saw it I thought, wow, this really looks like Donkey Kong Country but with pandas. And well… that’s pretty much what it is.
It’s in that way that Juju really doesn’t bring anything new to the table. You’ll progress through 4 worlds, each has a mini boss and a boss with several levels in between. In each level (besides the first one), there are “hidden” areas where you can collect more butterflies (well, ambers but they are butterflies). You’ll find hidden areas with more of these, defeat a variety of enemies, and gain various power ups. Sound familiar? Heck, you even have access to a bongo!
So what makes Juju unique? Well… it has pandas? It’s pretty generous towards players in that it has infinite lives? There’s an easy mode option if you need a couple more hearts? Well, okay, to be fair it really is friendly towards players. The infinite lives is amazing, especially for people like me who seem to find every hole to fall into. It’s also pretty family friendly – the graphics are extremely cute. You can even play it with the family if you want to since there’s a co-op mode!
The hidden levels are very limited in design. There are only around 4 or 5 types you will encounter which means you will be repeating them a LOT. The good side of that, of course, is that you get a lot of practice in them and actually start to do better the more you do them! Well the power ups you gain help slightly, but mainly the practice.
Speaking of power ups, there are 4 you will get through the game – one for each world. The power ups vary in usefulness for sure. One will allow you to hover for a bit in your jump while another is ground pound. I think over the course of the game I ended up wanting to throw the ground pound out more than it actually helped me in spots. More than once it caused me to get hit by an attack I would have otherwise dodged because it is on the same exact control as ducking (except that you need to be in the air to ground pound). There was so many times where I’d be about one inch off the ground and nope, ground pound!
You also have access to an actual shooting attack… however you don’t get it until the last world of the game. You also have a dash move that let’s you defeat most enemies, however the shooting attack is vastly more useful. It’s just extremely unfortunate (I feel) that you get it so late into the game.
Should you be looking for a bigger challenge, Juju also features Time Trials for every level. These are actually pretty tough, there isn’t really much room for error. Even in what you might feel is a good run through a level, you’ll probably still end up missing the mark by some decent amount of time. Practice will make perfect though!
I do and don’t recommend Juju. If you’re looking for a fairly family-friendly platformer then check it out. If you want to play a game extremely similar to Donkey Kong Country (especially Returns) then also check it out. However, if you are looking for something with a bit more variety that actually tries something new then you may want to give it a pass.
But hey, before we go… The game does have a catchy credits song that is worth checking out!
Juju Review Score
While it doesn’t take many risks, it at least does some stuff right. A higher variety in the hidden levels would have been absolutely fantastic. But hey, that credits song is pretty catchy!
I would like to thank the developer for providing me with a copy of the game for review.