Necrophone/Adult Swim

Windows, OS X, Linux

In order for Necrophone Games and Adult Swim Games to take subjective comedy, hand over narrative control to the players, and still have the laughs land, they couldn’t overthink things—and Jazzpunk overthinks very little. In a world ruled by retro-futuristic Soviet-era espionage, quirky imagination and pop-culture references, players take first-person control of an agent sent on various missions largely involving minigames. Jazzpunk doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to minigames but it puts some awesome rims on it (a wedding-themed parody of Quake is one example). The humor is integrated into the gameplay in a consistent and interactive manner so that it doesn’t slow down or deter from the game. From the hilarious one-liners nonplayable characters deliver when incessantly clicked upon—particularly the hobos and a Hunter S. Thompson–esque drunk—to the trippy, psychedelic scenes you’re thrust into, Jazzpunk is the rare game that you enjoy playing for the experience. It’s over all too quickly, but a few hours of unique, ridiculously funny gaming is far better for our souls than a 70-plus hour blockbuster that buries the enjoyment in rehashed gameplay and grueling completion achievements.