Jet Kave Adventure (Switch)

Kave is a brave hunter and chief of a group of Neanderthals.  But one day he gets banished from his tribe for some reason.  While wandering about alone, he sees a mysterious craft crash land, and on closer inspection, he spies an ancient alien exit the downed spaceship and zips towards a volcano.  In his haste, the alien drops a futuristic jet pack, which Kave puts on and decides to go after the alien to find out what he’s up to and win back his tribe in the process.  Jet Kave Adventure is a 2.5D platformer and is an exclusive download on the Nintendo Switch.

Kave has a myriad of moves at his disposal.  He can use his primal athleticism to jump, wall jump, run on all fours and duck, as well as shoot out a limited number of pellets from his slingshot and swing his club to dispatch fierce dinosaurs, giant bugs, and other prehistoric beasts.  He can also use his new jetpack for even more moves.  He can glide in the air for a short while (the jetpack has limited fuel but refills over a short time).  By holding down the R shoulder button, he can also slow down time and set a direction to get a burst of speed from his jetpack.  This is handy for when you need a quick boost upward, or when you need to break rocks blocking your way, or push giant boulders and more.  Every so often, Kave may have to defeat bosses like rival cavemen or a charging mastodon.  And sometimes he may have to challenge auto-scrolling segments with a hang glider or jet upwards through a canyon.  While you may have a lot of moves, the game does a good job of gradually introducing you to them.  Play control is pretty good most of the time, but I did have trouble every now and then with wall jumps.

As you play, you’ll collect a variety of different items.  Scattered about the levels are seeds.  Collect enough of them and visit a shop between levels to buy items and upgrades.  You can increase your health, wield a larger club, get more jetpack fuel, and more.  Hidden in each world is a gold statue for you to find, too, for an extra challenge.  When you defeat enemies and hit certain plants, food will pop out.  But when you collect it, you won’t immediately fill your energy.  The food actually fills a separate ‘food meter’ represented by a couple of drumsticks (instead of hearts).  When one is full, then you can press the A button to eat food and then fill your health.  So you can choose exactly when to regain energy.  I don’t know if it really makes the game better, but it is an interesting idea.

For most players, this game will probably remind them of other 2-D platformers like Donkey Kong Country.  Especially DKC Returns what with the jetpack and all.  Although while the game isn’t too terribly original or quite as good as DKC, it’s still a competent platformer.  For some reason, the game also makes me think of Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninjas a little bit.  Unfortunately, like Donkey Kong Country Returns, there comes a point in this game where it just gets way too hard (especially with bosses), but that’s really the only main problem I had with the game.

Kid Factor:

Jet Kave Adventure is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Crude Humor and Fantasy Violence.  You can hit dinosaurs and giant bugs with your club, but they just disappear with a splat when defeated.  When you or a boss runs out of energy, most of the time you or them just fall over with dizzy pterodactyl birds spinning around your head.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, but not necessary just to play, as cave paintings provide picture cues for the control instructions.  Younger gamers may find the game too difficult, though.

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