A kingdom subject to the yoke of self-conscious fruits, a bunch of absurd weapons, local multiplayer and four classes to choose from. The work of Space Can is simple, absurd, fun and has an artistic section worthy of praise.
Have you ever been told that “you should eat more fruit and vegetables, which are good for your health”? Well, believe us if we tell you that at no time they referred to the suburban peers, ninja pineapples or artillery peaches that you’ll find in Juicy Realm, a nice Space Can production that proposes us to enter an absurd kingdom in which the vegetables are now in the top of the food chain. We set up a safe camp, choose one of the four characters available at the beginning of the game and set out on a roguelike expedition alone or with a friend to hunt down these enemies rich in vitamins.
From the moment you see the game in motion, one thing is clear: artistically it is worthy of applause. We could dedicate an embarrassingly large part of the analysis to crumble the number of small details that hide their characters and environments: the expression of illusion that puts our avatar when driving a particularly powerful type of weapon, or a dandelion falling apart in a pile of leaves when you pass over, they give the program a lot of visual richness -not bad, considering that we are talking about a rather modest development! – and a casual and fun touch that feels really good.
The fruit apocalypse arrives
It is precisely there where the charm of Juicy Realm resides, in giving us character, weapons and original and funny enemies like what you would expect to see in a comic or anime of humor. And the truth is that in that sense it works very well, we liked to swipe left and right with the ninja, plant fire turrets with the command and find tools both overwhelming and absurd. What to take to combat: a laser rifle as a primary weapon and a baguette for melee? It is perfectly viable, and it is only the beginning. Do you remember the plastic chicken that featured countless ‘memes’ and remixes on social networks last year, for its characteristic sound when squeezed? Well, it’s in the game, and you also have a gun with the Steam logo that shoots labels of the typical Valve platform discounts.
We love the fun and casual style that Juicy Realm has, betting on an attractive and fresh design.
We love the fun and carefree style that Juicy Realm has, often breaking the fourth wall and with an attractive and fresh design. But even if it’s the soul of the game, it would not be fair to stay with that. How do you respond to the controls? Well, the truth is that it leaves us with a bittersweet taste, it gives us joys and disappointments almost equally. Being a roguelike shooter, it is likely that you have tried similar proposals in the past, such as Enter the Gungeon. Well, Juicy Realm is a simplification of that: it is not so difficult or complex, there are only four classes, maps generated in a semi-random way and a handful of fruits and vegetables to crush to move to the next area.
As we defeat the bosses that we meet in the adventure, we unlock the next zone, which introduces new enemies and also some mechanics. We are not going to tell you much about it so as not to gut anything, but to give you an idea we will find traps to activate or quicksand in a desert. But there he stays, and we would have liked to see a lot more depth. It is not that we have anything against the action of Juicy Realm, but considering that the progression is linear and we always start from the same camp, more than one can be very heavy or repetitive within a few hours.
Forget about leveling, getting objects or learning skills: the only progression you will find here is the possibility of unlocking certain NPCs in the camp that will give you the option to start your expedition with some other advantage, such as a second weapon, or a merchant between level and level that sells you some passive for the duration of the trip. And when you get stuck with a boss, starting practically from scratch can drive you crazy. It can also be interpreted positively, of course, and that is that many people may like the tagline of trial and error and create a certain progression from there. For example, the first avocado I found fired a cannon shot that I could not foresee, but for the next one and none of theirs was a problem.
Does that justify the replayability of the title? We think not, and that is probably his biggest problem: the first areas are too easy, many bosses have quite unfair mechanics of invincibility and the melee weapons (all of them) work almost identically. They also do not explain to you in any tutorial how the unique tool of each class works, and some fruits have surprise attacks that even take you a couple of laps to learn to dodge. In a context like this, how do you make it fun to repeat the journey without shortcuts, weapons or different skills? For Juicy Realm, the answer is to change the order in which levels are presented within the same phase. And it is not enough.
With everything, taking stock we are left with a game that exudes good vibes on all four sides and that, at least, you will like to play for a few hours. The cooperative mode is also appreciated to add a plus of interest to the replayability, which is the foot of the limps. Juicy Realm only comes with texts in English and a very discreet sound section, which does its job when it has to do, but in general, it is reduced to the screams and sputtering of enemies when exchanging lead between us.
Juicy Realm proposes to immerse us in a fun and absurd kingdom where fruits and vegetables form a huge insurrection. On paper, the proposal is as successful as its staging, but ironically at the controls, we discover that it lacks “juice”: it is difficult not to feel after a few hours that you have seen it all, and the lack of progression and interest lacks points to play again after falling in combat. It can be a recommendable experience, at least while it lasts us.
- Artistically it has charm and personality, it feels very fresh
- Some weapons are particularly fun to use
- The interface and navigation is very clean and comfortable
- The level of difficulty presents somewhat annoying spontaneous ups and downs
- Melee weapons are almost identical
- There are not many inducements to replay it when you return to the base