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Denny Markovic
24 Jun, 2010

Jolly Rover Review

PC Review | Jolly good time.
Over the recent years, we’ve seen somewhat of a reboot of the point’n’click adventure games that used to plague our childhood with laughter and glee. With Telltale Games leading the pack with Sam and Max, Strong Bad and the now resurrected Monkey Island, there’s certainly plenty to pick from now, and that’s not even getting into the indie scene. While the indie scene has produced some really great adventure games such as Machinarium, there are some pretty terrible ones out there too. Thankfully though, the most recent of the Adventure titles, Jolly Rover is far from a terrible game. In fact, it feels almost like a love letter to the big Monkey Island fans of old.

To elaborate, Jolly Rover puts you in the shoes of Gaius James Rover, son of famous clown Jolly Rover, who died from a blow to the groin from an improperly loaded joke cannon (yes you read correctly). After a tussle at the beginning of the game involving a pirate and him stealing your shipment, Rover is put into a much bigger situation than he anticipated, which involves a whole lot of piracy, swashbuckling, voodoo magic and balls (not those kind – cannonballs). Throughout the game you meet several different characters, all with distinctive and often times highly amusing personalities, and in good old adventure gaming fashion, you have to solve problems for them and talk to them a whole bunch.

Plenty of bones for those dogs.

Plenty of bones for those dogs.
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Adventure games as a whole rely heavily on their narrative ability in order to remain interesting, and Jolly Roverindeed hooks you with a very solid story. While not wholly original, the story itself is highly amusing and full of some serious laugh out loud moments, and will last you a good 6 to 10 hours that can be quite easily replayed due to its well written dialogue. The game also feels heavily Monkey Island inspired considering the setting (albeit all characters in Jolly Rover are dogs), with a similar style of humour akin to that of Curse of Monkey Island. This is definitely not a bad thing however, as Monkey Island is considered by many to be the king of adventure titles, so Brawsome have done a good job in being consistently charming and funny while not borrowing too heavily from the esteemed franchise.

Gameplay of Jolly Rover is pretty much just like every other adventure title; point and click on things to examine and/or pick them up for later use, and solve tricky puzzles by using objects at your disposal. It’s a very simple formula that just plain works and anyone can pick up and play. Jolly does add some of its own additions though, such as a Parrot named Juan that you pick up at the very beginning of the game. Juan essentially acts as a hinting system if you get stuck, where you can ask him how to overcome certain obstacles and he’ll give you trivial little clues. You can grab even more explicit info out of him, but in order to do this you need to feed him a cracker, which are scattered around the game for you to find. It’s a neat addition for people who are genuinely stuck and need some assistance getting through the game. It’s arguable though that the game feels a little too easy, with some of the puzzles being a little too simplistic, however this isn’t necessarily a criticism but a subjective observation, as clearing an area effectively is entirely dependent on the players ability to pick up on the puzzle and their experience in Adventure games.

Sup dawg.

Sup dawg.
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Jolly Rover’s weakest aspect is arguably its technical levels, which are hand drawn and animated with simplistic music used coupled with some stellar voice acting. While hand drawn and 2D games are perfectly fine (the art style is both charming and full of life), the animations can be a tad jarring, where motion and weight of each character sometimes tends to feel a little sloppy. That being said though, it’s a rather minor criticism to a pleasant looking games, and most people will likely get over some of the weaker animations, as they’ll be too busy looking for clues on how to overcome obstacles.

As we stated at the beginning of this review, Jolly Rover feels like a love letter to the Monkey Island fans of old. It’s a lovingly crafted, charming and often times hilarious adventure that certainly strikes a similar chord that Monkey Island did, and is easy to pick up and lose yourself in for a few hours. Not only this, but it’s rather cheap to pick up on the official home page (and is also available on Steam and other download services), so if you’re in the mood for some solid adventure gaming fun, or are a massive fan of the genre itself, then grab yourself a copy of Jolly Rover and have a Jolly good time.
The Score
Jolly Rover is a charming and highly amusing romp that's pretty much a must for any self-respecting adventure gaming fan. 8
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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3 Comments
3 years ago
Jolly Rover, who died from a blow to the groin from an improperly loaded joke cannon, Hahahahahaha LMAO.
3 years ago
wow im so buying that I think, but man that first screen looks like its straight out of monkey island!
3 years ago
Not sure where you can get it from Play-Asia... but you can easily find lots of places to get it from the developers website: http://www.brawsome.com.au/JollyRover
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