The sci-fi classic film Robocop is one of my all-time favourites. It was massively inspired by the Judge Dredd comics. Another thing inspired by Judge Dredd is the top-down, twin-stick shooter Jydge from developer and publisher 10tons. In it, you play as a cybernetic law enforcer known as JYDGE.
Jydge is set in a dystopian city of crime called Edenbyrg and when the crime rate is out of hand, they call in JYDGE to clean things up in his own unique way. Armed with a gun called gavel… cos he’s a judge, it’s your mission to shoot criminals in the face and rescue hostages. As mentioned this is a top-down, twin-stick shooter so if you have ever played a game like this before, you should feel right at home. The controls are simple and familiar, within a minute or two, you’ll be darting around the levels serving your own brand of justice to the scum of the city.
The missions in the game are short but sweet. There’s destructible scenery and walls that add a layer of strategy to the game. I mean, you could go in through the front door and try to take on the bad guys face to face… or you could just shoot a wall down and take them by surprise. There are only twenty levels in Jydge, which admittedly doesn’t sound like a lot. However, you are pretty much pushed into playing them several times. This may sound like a chore, but the levels are so short (in a good way) that replaying them over and over really isn’t as much of a drudge as it sounds. But why replay them I hear you inquire? Well, each level has three challenges for you to complete as well as just finishing it. Each challenge earns you a medal and you need these medals to unlock more levels.
These challenges vary from level to level. Maybe you’ll need to finish without taking any damage or you’ll need to loot all crates. Some challenges require you to finish a level in a set time limit (usually a very short 20-30 second time limit) or perhaps you’ll have to kill every bad guy. At first, you’ll find that it is pretty much impossible to finish some of these challenges until you upgrade not just JYDGE but also his gun too. Yup, there’s an upgrade mechanic here and there’s a lot to it too. Unlock and use cybernetic implants, new types of ammo for your gun, special weapons and more. In order to upgrade, you’ll need money. You earn money for every successful mission as well as for looting crates. This is why you’ll find yourself replaying missions a lot, to earn the coin to upgrade, to complete challenges, to unlock more levels.
Then, you can also unlock higher difficulties for each of the twenty levels. Even though you will be playing the same level, just on a higher difficulty, these throw up new challenges. Aside from having new challenges to try and complete, the levels will also alter slightly. The hostages you need to save will move, as will the enemies and more. So even replaying the same level throws up a few surprises to keep you playing. Plus, as each level can be finished relatively quickly, they never get stale. You can spend anywhere from a few minutes to just a few seconds on a level. Play can be fast and frantic and unlocking new upgrades (like a hacking tool) can even open new paths through the levels too. So there really is quite a lot of variety here, even if you do replay the same levels over and over.
Now, going back to the same levels over and over can usually feel a bit grindy and I’m not a fan of grindy games at all. Yet with Jydge, it never honestly felt like a grind. The missions you are sent on are very enjoyable and varied and when I did have to replay a mission, I always found myself trying some new tactics or using a new upgrade to improve my performance.
To the final question I always ask, is the game worth buying? First up, the price. Depending on your platform of choice (Steam being the cheapest), Jydge is being sold for £11 to £13. It’s a good price point for the game you get, despite there only being twenty levels and those levels being short, there is still a lot of gameplay crammed into them. I loved going back and trying to better my previous attempts, trying to beat the challenges and unlock all of the medals. There’s a lot to play around with in terms of upgrades too. Mixing and matching various cyberwares and ammo types. Playing around with various setups for each mission to get the best performance that I could.
I was recommended this game by the admin of a Facebook group that I’m in, Lockdown Gaming. And Dave, when you read this, I’m bloody glad you enticed me to try it out. I had so much fun with Jydge and I’ve still not unlocked all twenty missions yet either. The destructible scenery isn’t just there to look nice, it can actually be used to add a layer of strategy. There are so many upgrades that you can really have a lot of fun trying out different setups. And the challenges on each level kept me coming back again and again without ever getting bored. Yes, this is a big recommendation. from me. Jydge is a cracking shooter and one with a lot of content under its surface. Shooting street scum in the face has never been so satisfying.