Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass Review

Da New Guys Box Art

A strictly ludic examination of a video game that emphasizes narrative as its predominant driving component tends to be dismissive of the game’s relevance to what many believe are the inherent tenets of play. Adventure games may run the greatest risk of such criticism, but a comedic approach to storytelling, as seen in Wadjet Eye’s Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass, can and does reclaim a sense of playfulness that is perhaps lost in the genre’s core mechanics, and helps to re-assert that play itself spans a broader spectrum of activity than commonly presumed.

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass begins with a brawl, ends with a car chase, and allows one of the three heroes to fire a gun approximately one time. The conflict in this story isn’t overt, though, and the primary challenges are not overcome by dexterity, but by careful observation and consideration of the virtual environment.

Play’s mechanisms realized in Day of the Jackass are in some ways meta-cognitive and complex. Trials, failures, evaluations, adjustments, and celebrations of success are all parts of an ongoing conversation – an interplay between the player’s conscious thoughts and his subconscious agent of thought. Incorporation of puzzles into a narrative rife with familiar, everyday settings (apartment building, bar, beach) and implements (golf club, TV remote, magazine) make it so; talking through these solutions is far more natural than something like Tetris or Bust-a-Move. This internal process is a game in itself, and a rewarding one.

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass

In other ways, Day of the Jackass is as simple as play can be: carefree and isolated participation in something enjoyable. It’s comedy. It’s a collection of ridiculous characters who absorb the player into their ridiculous adventures. It’s laughter… a fair portion of the time. It’s something we’ve done a hundred times before.

Da New Guys: Day of the Jackass: A trio of British professional wrestlers – one kidnapped weakling, one couch-bound galoot, and one overly-polite, mask-wearing Mr. Nice Guy – take on a pre-pubescent criminal mastermind to foil a semi-dastardly plot and secure the future of their hometown wrestling arena, using nothing but their wits and a Batbelt of ketchup packets, hand buzzers, dirty socks, fountain sodas, and teddy bears, among many other things. It’s all fun and games; a classic point-and-click adventure that looks like it came out of a children’s coloring book. It’s narrative. It’s play.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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