Overall Score 70%
Jiglit (American Edition)
This week I am reviewing a game that is part sport, part puzzler, definitely best played with friends and which can involve the removal of shoes and socks. I want to make a witty comment here but, with such a diverse mix of topics, I can't think of any. Oh well.
Jiglit is one of the oddest games I have ever played. We are informed by the author that Jiglit is one of the most popular "sports" played on Flipside, a parallel world remarkably similar to Earth, and that one way to play is by placing your keyboard on the floor and using your big toe.
The objective is simple to understand but complex to describe. Each arena contains a number of objects laid out on a grid. These objects all influence the flight of a drone, which flies across the grid and is intended to take out the white balls in the middle. The flight path, number of energy points, direction and more are determined by stopping a timer at the right point. Then position your launcher, and fire. Score points with each shot and score more than your opponent to win. See - simple!
The controls for Jiglit are entirely operable by big toe, though I haven't tried myself. My laptop would never forgive the trespass of my sweaty feet. With the exception of menu access and so on, the game is played by two buttons. Well, one main button for each player and then any letter key to confirm your shot.
The graphics are clear and form a kaleidoscope of colour. Everything is bright and while all the objects contrast well against the background, none of them particularly clash. This is remarkable as the author states he is colour-blind! My only possible objection to the graphics is the way everything seems so crammed in. Information panels surround the game screen, full of helpful reminders of what everything does, which can feel a little claustrophobic.
As befits a sport, virtual or not, this is a game with plenty of sound. Jiglit is accompanied by lively music which focuses you on the game rather than distracting you from it. Sound effects also work well (who is that shouting "Jiglit"?). I particularly like the way the music stops when you launch a shot! The world holds its breath...
There are some weaker points to Jiglit, the biggest being a lack of intuitiveness. I was unable to figure out how the game worked at first. It doesn't take long to get the idea but I was playing blind for a couple of games before it all clicked into place. Instructions are there, but don't make much sense until you play. Secondly, while there is a one-player option, playing by yourself gets dull quickly. You need a friend or two (or three) to really get the best of things.
Jiglit is one of the weirdest games I've played in a long time, and deserves a look if only to try playing with your big toe. Just be careful with that keyboard and, if you have friends around, wash your feet first...
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