Juiced! is a nostalgia hit for those of us that remember the 90s. As soon as I started playing I was instantly hit with memories of playing Commander Keen and Duke Nukem (before 3D) as a kid. It really does feel like being thrown back to that time.
Juiced! has your typical old school villain. Super obvious with minions to fulfil his villainous plans. In this case, he wants the eternal crystals so that he can take over the world. You know, the usual. Unfortunately, we broke the seal these crystals had been housed in and the villains minion, Bolton, captured them and took them to their evil lair, a spaceship. But never fear, we were able to get the crystals back and escape… accidentally scattering the crystals over the world. So, now it’s time to go get them before the villain can.
Juiced! is a retro platformer with tight controls, though I did have issues with choosing the weapon selection key rather than shoot a few times. This would end up with me choosing a different weapon and then using it instead. Not always ideal. You can change all the controls to your liking though. Aside from platforming, Juiced! also has weapons and upgrades you can use throughout the levels. Upgrades are items like restore health, increase health and shield etc. with weapons being different types of projectiles.
In Juiced! you can also get juiced. Throughout the levels, you will collect fruit which will increase your juice meter. Once the meter is full you can activate juiced mode which is invincibility for a period of time, similar to finding a star in the Super Mario games. Unfortunately, this doesn’t affect all enemies and you may run into some and get hurt.
Each level of Juiced! has a boss fight. They are relatively straight forward and have a 4 hit system. Work out how to hit them, do it 4 times and you win. Each level in Juiced is quite long, so having a boss fight at the end makes them feel a bit endless.
Art and sound design
The art of Juiced! is the typical fare from a 90s platformer, simple, bright and full of colour. The dev really has captured the look of 90s platformers very well. You could take a glance of Juiced! and not realise it is a new game.
Juiced! has 40 synthesizer style tracks to bop along to as you play through the levels, jumping on enemies and exploring new worlds. They’re upbeat and catchy and something interesting to have on in the background.
The art and sound design are fun in Juiced!, though the emphasis really is on the platforming and boss fights.
Juiced! is excellent if you enjoy retro platformers, especially ones with a bit of difficulty. There is a loose story here, but it’s definitely not the main focus of the game, same as the art and soundtrack. This would also probably be a great game for speedrunners. If you’re also a 90s kid like me, you might like it because it’s a great reminder of games from that period. The dev did an excellent job of emulating the look and feel of those games.
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Platforms: PC (Steam), Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android
Genre: 2D platformer
** Find The Strawberry received a free key for Juiced! from the developer. All opinions are my own **