The rivalry between lumberjack and beaver is a vicious one indeed
One might think that with their shared interest in deforestation, lumber jacks and beavers would be natural allies. However, as Lumber Jacked makes perfectly clear, their relationship is more of a bitter and violent rivalry.
In Lumber Jacked, the beavers have rebelled and stolen all of the wood from a hard-working lumberjack named Joe. Joe puts on his red flannel jacket and sets out for revenge against the aquatic rodent leader, Bustin Beaver.
Revenge takes the form of a 2D platformer, as players jump across ponds and treetops through 60 levels. The developers at FireFruitForge built on their experience with Spellsword, offering finely tuned virtual buttons to jump, double jump, and wall jump as the level may demand. Wall jumps also serve a dual purpose by letting you stick to the wall and slide down, which comes in handy as the level layouts and spike placement gets more complex.
A dash attack at your disposal is used for clearing out wandering beaver enemies and wooden obstacles along the way. Using the attack in mid-air can give your jumps extra distance for clearing long gaps, as well as letting you bounce off of spikes, making it just as useful as a traversal tool as it is an attack.
The whole game is built around the idea of speed runs through levels, a point driven home by an on-screen timer counting how long levels take down to a tenth of a second. Each level has a par time, but the insidious clock urges you to try and shave as much from your time as possible.
Sadly, there isn't much in the way of bragging rights for your effort without Game Center support or online leaderboards of any kind. Personal satisfaction will have to be enough to get you to trace back through the levels for a better time, though there are other incentives to keep playing.
Each level offers three stars, with one given for completing the level and another for completing it within the par time. The third star, though, is for collecting a red plaid jacket hidden in each level. It is usually hidden, or at least requiring more dexterity to reach than the level exit.
However, simply collecting the plaid jackets isn't enough to earn the third star. Stars are not cumulative, so you will need to earn the jacket star while still completing levels within the par time. It's a bit of a push for players, especially in levels where platforms are at the mercy of swinging physics, but players looking to find everything out for a challenge will get just that.
While the lack of leaderboards is a shame given the focus on fast times, Lumber Jacked stands out as one of the better controlling platformers to hit mobile devices. Sadly, that might not be enough to let it stand out among the forest of mobile games released each day. It may not be the next Rayman Jungle Run, but fans who give it a chance will not be disappointed.
- Excellent, responsive controls. Genuinely challenging without being frustrating.
- No leaderboards despite emphasis on speed runs. Physics for moving platforms can be inconsistent.