There were quite a few RPGs on show at EGX this year, each one having it’s unique hook. One such game in the Leftfield Collection section of the show was particularly interesting, and that was So Romantic’s Jack Move.
Styling itself as a cyberpunk JRPG, Jack Move sees you playing the part of the a hacker who has to solve a mystery after a simple data raid manages to go wrong. The game is said by the developers to be in the vein of the classic Squaresoft greats like Final Fantasy VI and VII, and it’s extremely evident that those games have heavily influenced the gameplay here.
The demo on show here has you making your way through a multi storey corporate building, trying to get to the mainframe at the top floor. Along the way, you’ll have to contend with that old, familiar JRPG mechanic, the random battles. On each turn, you have to wait a certain amount of time before you can take action. You can either attack, use special attack/defence abilities or use items.
You have a power meter and each special ability uses up some of this power, basically in the same way that spells use up mana. You level up these abilities by using them in battle. However, you can only have a certain number of special abilities ‘installed’ at any one time, so if you want to change up the abilities available to you, you’ll have to ‘uninstall’ an existing ability before installing a new one.
The game has a pixelated graphical style that looks interesting and fits in with the whole classic, cyberpunk hacking theme that the game uses. Instead of the usual ‘attack’ or ‘magic’ commands, it says things like ‘hack’ and ‘execute’. At its core, it’s the mechanics of a classic JRPG in a retro, cyberpunk shell and it’s a nice combination, especially with the old school sounding music.
Jack Move is certainly a visually and thematically interesting take on classic JRPGs, and is certainly worth a look if you get the chance. The game is still in development and has no set release date as of yet, but you can find out more information about the game at the So Romantic website.