If there's one thing that gets my motor running, it's a rad looking platforming game. And when that platforming features combat and the open-ended nature of a Metroidvania, then yeah, you can just sign me right up. So I was pretty stoked to come across a game called JackQuest - The Tale of the Sword in our forums the other day, as it looks to embody all those things I love so much. The game comes from Jose Neto aka NetoX, whose previous iOS releases include Orbital [Free] and MadRobot X [Free]. In the developer's own words, "If you enjoy challenging bosses, jumping on walls, discovering secret passages, and collecting items to explore new areas, JackQuest is your game!" Here are a couple of quick animated gifs so you can see what it's like in motion.

Currently there is a demo build of JackQuest that people in our forums are testing, and so far the feedback has been very positive, with the only criticisms being in regards to difficulty and some virtual control issues. Exactly the types of things that can be tweaked and fixed during a testing period! The other complaint is that the demo build is too short, so that also bodes well for the full game if people are already wanting more of it. While it's unclear how many more testers are needed, feel free to stop by the forum thread to inquire about testing as more builds are already underway and future builds will have additional content. When JackQuest is finished, the current demo portion will be free to download and play with a one-time IAP to unlock the rest of the game.

  • gwarmaxx

    are you sure this is a metroidvania, i don't see any maps in the gifs?
    today a lot of young devs use the term "metroidvania" referring wrongly to their simple platform games, and i think that's misleading 'cause games like Metroid or Castlevania are not only mere platformers, they also have that special puzzle/adventure/exploration side which makes them completely different and much more complex, i.e. starting from a map that doesn't exist in platformers, since they are much more linear... so, why do we keep calling "metroidvania" a mere platformer? It's a mystery to me.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      It’s a large non-linear level with areas blocked off until you obtain certain items. It’s a Metroidvania.

    • Darwin.

      How do you know it's a 'mere platformer'? just by the gifs?

      • gwarmaxx

        honestly i do not know, obviously i can''t judge a game by a couple of gifs, it's only a feeling... in all this ten years of iOS games i read hundred of times the word "metroidvania", but the real ones aren't more than ten, and half of them could be completed in less than half an hour (so imho they can not be called metroidvania)... hope i'm wrong in this case, i would love to play a real metroidvania game, and believe me, the only two that i've played and are close to that standard are the old Powerpuff Girls (pulled years ago) and now Dandara (Traps 'n Gemstones was too easy and too short, Lemegeton had terrible controls so it was near unplayable, etc etc).

      • Shaun Musgrave

        I get your concern and I don't want you to take this as mockery, but I find it amusing that the two stipulations you've laid out for a game to be considered a Metroidvania (in-game map, can't be beaten in under an hour) would disqualify the original Metroid from the genre.

      • gwarmaxx

        yeah, you’re right and would add the original Castlevania too 🤣, the map there was part of the aesthetics, but we all know that the term metroidvania starts from the epic Symphony of the Night on PSX and SNES Metroid, at least for me those are the parameters.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Also, while it has a map, Super Metroid can be beaten in well under an hour if you follow one of the PRKD routes (look up videos by oatsngoats if you'd like to learn more).

      • toofinedog

        Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night clearly defined the genre, hence the name. I think as long as the game world consists of an interconnected map (regardless of a constantly displayed mini-map, if at all) where you are granted access to new areas through the acquisition of new items/abilities, it’s a metroidvania. Some just aren’t as good as others, and some don’t stay true to the formula, but they are nevertheless still of the genre. Vergence (pulled from the App Store) tried to stay true but was incredibly unpolished and unfinished. Dark Incursion was better but also incomplete and abandoned and is still available. Dandara is clearly a gem. Forma.8 GO and Waking Mars are good floaty-type ones. I’d count Momoka as one too. If you go back and look at odd ducks like Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia on the OG DS, it uses the metroidavania formula but also has separate, smaller stages. Different doesn’t mean it’s not a metroidvania. I don’t think game play time matters due to speed runs. I prefer to take my time. As for this game, I requested a TestFlight invite from the dev. I’m hoping I’ll get to find out what kind of metroidvania it is soon.

      • gwarmaxx

        a lot of games that seems long initially, then can be completed in an hour (never understand what's the purpose of a "run" in games with the magnificence of SOTN, but never mind) like Eli said, but i prefer to take my time, explore, look at the devs work in terms of grafx and music, and try to walk every corner of the map, honestly i've better things to do than put myself in front of a screen to just jump-jump-jump & slash-slash-slash everything that moves in the shortest time possible... games must be played and enjoyed in all their aspects, not chewed in half an hour and then forgotten.
        anyway, i'm just testing JackQuest, and can say that is a really good platformer set in a one huge level with save points scattered here and there (not in specific rooms), i'm enjoying it so much, but as my old videogamer instinct told me it's not a metroidvania kind of, there's no map at all, no skills for the character, no alternative weapons to grab, at least from what i could see so far... so, you tell me, can it be called "a metroidvania"?
        btw, i had forgotten Vergence and Dark Incursion, both good metroidvanias, loved them, but unfortunately with some issues in the gameplay, while Forma 8 and Waking Mars don't have metroidvania vibes imho.

      • José Medeiros

        I am very happy that you have enjoyed JackQuest, I have a lot of experience in Metroidvania, and I have already played all those mentioned here. Actually, the JackQuest demo may be lacking in some aspects, but there is already some evidence that it is a Metroidvania, for example in some screens load appears Jack with a bow, a new weapon that will be used in the game to solve some puzzles or kill enemies, in the demo you also find a boot that falls from the first boss, and it gives you a new skill, the double jump. The heart area on the demo (access is still being fixed this week) can only be exploited with these boots. The minimap, it sold by Gabe the Merchant, but is not available in the demo, because it is very short I wanted the players to explore the cave.
        Besides all that I mentioned the player will still get new skills, like breathing under the water to get access to new areas. I can say that it will not be a game like Super Metroid or Castlevania, but it will be very enjoyable for those who like the genre

      • gwarmaxx

        wow, i'm glad to listen this, so in the future we'll have skills, other weapons and a minimap... GREAT!!! now i'm excited to see its progress, and i'm sure it will deserve the metroidvania title 😉

      • Darwin.

        I already can't wait to play by reading this