A game that should have just been an obscure YouTube video, The Jekoos is immature and amateurish. The Finger Guns Review.
There’s a corner of YouTube that my kids occasionally stumble into that I’m not really a fan of. It’s full of absurdist, puerile humour, more often than not involving Five Nights at Freddy’s or Fortnite characters doing inane and random things. My brood of kids watch these videos mostly expressionless, maybe breaking the occasional smile. The Jekoos is an interactive comic book in this exact vein created in part by some of these YouTubers – Kimulator, Shadok123 and Galaxy Goober. One of their recent videos had them shooting semen onto Fortnite characters from a penis that they called ‘Big Chungus’. Yup. It’s total crap. The Jekoos isn’t as crude, but the quality is just as poor.
The Jekoos are a pair of cyclops-like creatures that wear headbands similar to those of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You can distinguish them from other another because one of them has a 1 on its front and the other has a 2. They’re curious little beings who appear to be friends. Or family members. Or enemies. It’s not really explained. Nothing is.
This game is a collection of things that they get up too. Like moving doodles with the lines of a notebook garnishing the background, these short 2 act cartoons portray their outlandish, daft, sometimes nonsensical actions. There’s always a set up, usually a conversation between the Jekoosian 1 and 2, followed by a player chosen ending.
To say there’s a branching narrative in the The Jekoos would be to drastically exaggerate what is in the game. Each of the mini-stories in the game have more than 1 potential ending. Most have 2 endings while the first has 3 potential endings. The choices you make in each story do not have long lasting effects. The binary choice you make in each story is wiped clean when you move onto the next.
The aims of The Jekoos seems obvious – to make you laugh. Or at least smile. The beggining of each tiny chapter sets a scene and then you get to pick between two or three sentences which decides on the ending. For example, in one story, 2 is holding a Gameboy and 1 comes along and asks what he’s playing with. A list will then appear; the options in this example are a) a time travel machine and b). your mom. Which ever finale you choose, there’s an absurdist element too it.
I’m going to be honest – I didn’t find a single second of The Jekoos to be funny. It couldn’t even prise a smile onto my lips. I’m not averse to oddball comedy but the events in this game just feel tame and bland. I’m not the target demographic though – my kids are. The original version of this game – which appears to have been a 6 minute animation you can buy on Amazon – was rated 7+. I let my kids play The Jekoos on PS4 and they wanted to turn it off before they’d even reached the end of the game. Given the fact that the game is 6 minutes long, that’s quite astonishing.
The humour doesn’t work in The Jekoos because it poops on its own party. Of course, comedy is subjective but most comedians (and even academics) agree that the best laughs come from places you’re not expecting. This game telegraphs all of its gags. When I choose “A Time Travel Machine” from a list of potential outcomes to a chapter and – SURPRISE – there’s a time travel machine, it’s not subverting my expectations. I’m waiting for it to happen. It’s an issue that cuts through to the core of The Jekoos.
E-Flat major failure
The fact that the audio in The Jekoos is frankly awful doesn’t make it any more palatable. One of the voice actors sounds like they have their microphone in their mouth while the other sounds like they’re in another room. The levels are all over the place. One story will have loud vocals and the next, they sound like whispers. There’s some effect put on the voices to give them an alien feel which make them difficult to comprehend no matter the volume. A silver lining is that the sound effects used are actually pretty good.
The animation you’ll find in The Jekoos is simplistic but it’s certainly fitting for the theme. The characters, their actions and the background all give off that vibe of being pen scribbles in a doodle pad. There’s an air of “Newgrounds flash animation” to the whole experience but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
In the end though, I’m not sure who will get anything out of The Jekoos. Maybe when it was purely a straightforward animation project, I could see it getting a few laughs. By becoming a branching game that telegraphs all its own gags, it loses its core hook, even for its target demographic – kids who love random YouTube videos. Instead, it’s 10 minutes of immature and amateurish animation with very limited interactivity. To put it bluntly – it’s total crap.
At least the Platinum trophy is quick and easy to unlock.
An animated short that has been transformed into an interactive comic book game, The Jekoos on PS4 is a project that constantly feels at odds with itself. Poor quality audio, a dire lack of content and absurdist humour that telegraphs its own punch lines amount to a very disappointing package.
The Jekoos is available now on PS4 (review platform).
Developer: Kimulator’s Films inc.
Publisher: Kimulator’s Films inc.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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