Jack Lumber is a sweetheart really, but he hates trees. In fact, he really, really hates trees – but to be fair, his granny was killed by a redwood so who’s gonna blame him? Help him exact his revenge while trying try not to slaughter any woodland animals in the process.
Think Fruit Ninja, but with logs. Jack Lumber trades the elegant slice of the samurai sword with a slow-motion chop through tree stumps, barrels and more. As batch after batch of differently shaped logs are thrown into the air, you must trace a path between them within the allotted time. Where Fruit Ninja was about frantically swiping at the screen for a continuous minute, Jack Lumber is a more strategic game which tests a variety of skills.
There are ‘one-way logs’ which can only be chopped from a specific direction, sturdy stumps which take a few whacks to get through, and explosive barrels which do a lot of the leg work for you. All of these things and more are thrown into the mix in a variety of stages, separated by a few excellent cut-scenes between levels.
The game is funny and charming, with loveable cell-shaded graphics and enough of a narrative to separate it from simple arcade slash-em-ups. Each level ends on an animal which you must save in its final stage – as you’ve destroyed their homes, its only fair that you see them rehoused in your increasingly overcrowded log cabin. See, what did we tell you? Total sweetheart.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While Jack Lumber is a simple arcade game at heart, a lot of thought has gone into giving it a big personality. Who knew chopping logs to bits could be so much fun?!