Review: Jazz Jackrabbit (1994)

Jazz Jackrabbit is a prime example of how Epic MegaGames, the creators behind this atrocious game, should have stuck to making solid Unreal Engine games rather than churning out D-grade PC garbage (along side tripe such as Skunny Kart and Ken’s Labyrinth).

Let me make this clear; Jazz Jackrabbit is a disgrace to the gaming industry and should be avoided at all costs.

The gameplay is abhorrent, bordering on incoherent. The character animations are stiff and jarring, making every movement feel unnatural and awkward. Jumping feels like jumping through jello, with an absurdly high float time that ruins any semblance of momentum or control. Moving at higher speeds turns the game into a slideshow, with everything moving in slow motion as Jazz Jackrabbit lurches about with all the grace of a wounded wildebeest. The level design is equally horrendous, with confusing layouts and maze-like paths that lead nowhere but frustration. Enemies are unresponsive and seem almost oblivious to Jazz’s presence, making combat feel like an afterthought rather than an essential element of the game.

The visuals are a travesty to behold. The graphics are outdated even by the standards of 1994, looking more like a Game Boy Color title than a PC game. Textures are blurry and pixelated, with a distinct lack of detail that makes everything look like a blurry mess. Lighting is nonexistent, with everything shrouded in darkness, making it difficult to discern anything at a distance. The sprites themselves are unremarkable, lacking any personality or character. Jazz himself looks like a cartoon carrot, complete with floppy ears and large glassy eyes that make him look more like a lab experiment gone horribly wrong than a playable character.

The sound design is equally appalling. The music is repetitive and grating, with a distinct lack of variety or melodic value. Sound effects are weak and underwhelming, lacking any impact or weight. There’s no sense of immersion or atmosphere, making the game feel like a chore rather than an enjoyable experience.

In conclusion, Jazz Jackrabbit is a nightmare come to life. It’s a game that should have never seen the light of day and serves as a testament to Epic MegaGames’ misguided foray into platforming titles. Avoid this abomination at all costs, lest you want to subject yourself to a game that feels like it was developed by a team of monkeys banging away on a keyboard in a dimly lit basement. Skunny Kart and Ken’s Labyrinth may be just as bad, but at least they know their place and they’re not as soul-crushingly terrible as Jazz Jackrabbit.