I am sorry Necrophone Games, but Jazzpunk isn't for me.
It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that throughout this bizarre first-person adventure game, hundreds of gags are being thrown at me at every which turn. Unfortunately, I only laughed once but even then, I didn't exactly fall out of my chair. That's about 10 seconds of enjoyment out of 2 and a half hours of resentment. I respect that Jazzpunk exists but I absolutely despised playing it.
Like I said, Jazzpunk is a first-person adventure game but I use that term lightly because the phrase "adventure game" has its own connotations. In Jazzpunk you are often plopped into a level, tasked with accomplishing a task and once that task is over, you move onto the next level. Finishing the main objective is easy. You might need to accomplish a simple puzzle to progress but I use the word "puzzle" lightly, as there is almost no challenge in the game at all.
However, Jazzpunk encourages the player to go off the beaten path to explore and play around with the environment. There is absolutely no reason to do this from a gameplay perspective, it is all just to fulfill your curiosity. Occasionally, you might find a sidequest or a minigame but doing these just results in some sort of "hilarious" punchline. It is a shame though that I can't stand any of the humour that Jazzpunk is trying to ram down my gullet.
The problem with Jazzpunk is that it is brimming with puns, references and general nonsense. You will often walk up towards crude, blocky characters who love to ramble incoherently, most of which do have their own dialogue and you can click on them several times to hear even more speech. There are also plenty of sight gags and a lot of the "enjoyment" from Jazzpunk comes from trying to find as many of these jokes as possible.
A lot of the humour and overall style is trying to be - "Oh it's so random, it's funny" but it just doesn't work. If you think using your frog tongue to steal a poor child's ice-cream or being kissed by a homeless man wearing lipstick sounds hilarious, then Jazzpunk might be for you. It definitely isn't for me.
There isn't even really a story. You are just given random tasks between levels and you never find out why you are doing any of this guff. Even the abrupt ending, which you will see in around 2 or 3 hours, is frustrating and does a poor job of closing the game.
The only thing I can praise Jazzpunk for is its sense of style and I do like the zany art throughout. The blocky graphics combined with the garish colours combines to make a psychedelic looking game, which is appropriate giving how strange the game is trying to be. The off-kilter jazz soundtrack is effective -- even if all of the tracks are five second loops -- and all of the voice acting is spot on.
Humour is extremely subjective. Reviewers and other folks seem to enjoy Jazzpunk, and that's cool, but I have to put my opinion out there for the sake of balance. There is no way that I am not the only one who just doesn't "get" Jazzpunk. Not only did I not get it, I was angry that I didn't get it. I actually like Jazzpunk in theory, but in reality, I have never groaned and sighed so much in front of a videogame.
I have played worse games than Jazzpunk, but I don't think I have ever hated a game more.
TWO OUT OF FIVE
(A bad game with an abundance of flaws which outweigh its positive aspects)