There’s been a lot of multiplayer platformers over the years where players can work together or against one another. Joggernauts takes it a whole other step by combining the styles of an endless runner with the elements of multiplayer in order to create one of the most chaotic experiences to ever grace platforming. Joggernauts combines splashes of color along with quick-thinking in order to create something truly amazing to play either alone or with a group of friends.
The general gameplay of Joggernauts is easy and only requires two simple button presses. When going in solo, the player controls two different characters who are each different colored. Pressing one button will move one character at a time to the front of the constantly moving duo. This is needed to break through obstacles of their corresponding color. The other main button is jump, but each character jumps independently so timing is a big factor when playing solo to make sure each character jumps on time instead of too early or too late. Along the way are colored coins that can be collected in order to buy checkpoints when they come up in levels. These are important for players who don’t want to start over from the very beginning of the stage if they fail, so are key to collect along the way.
Joggernauts allows up to four friends to team up and tackle levels together. Each player controls their own character with the ability to transfer themselves to the front of the line and jump. With only two players it’s easy to see how it might be on the easier side, but once three or four are involved is when things start to become chaotic fast. Joggernauts requires a lot of attention to what’s coming next, making sure every player is paying attention for when it’s their turn to be in front. This can quickly lead to players moving to the front too soon or too late and begin to drain the team’s health. Although early levels are seemingly simply enough with players needing to break enemies or parts in the path, levels soon begin to change by adding split paths and platforms that can only be solidified by the corresponding colored player. Needless to say, it’s a constant chaotic amount of fun.
If teams can work properly together, things will go smoothly, but there’s an interesting learning curve in Joggernauts that requires good focus and communication. If players are able to collect the three trophies found in each level, they will even unlock a bonus stage at the end that’s even more challenging than what they just completed. Seeing a well-oiled team working together is what players should strive for, and although Joggernauts offers a fully fleshed out single player it feels like the kind of game that really wants a bunch of friends playing together at once just for the ensuing chaos it brings.
Joggernauts is a crazy platformer that requires a lot of accuracy and concentration, and yet despite this just feels like a blast while in the action even after repeat failures. While having to start over can feel like a bit of a bummer, playing with others can make for hilarious and enjoyable times that make it fun to try over and over again. The level designs are easily one of the most clever aspects for a unique take on a runner such as this and everything pops wonderfully making it all easy to understand even during the chaotic emotions undergone by every player. Anyone wanting to hop on board the trip across endless color and challenge can look forward to picking up Joggernauts when it launches this year on Steam and Nintendo Switch.