Reviewing Humble Bundle 5: Dynamite Jack

A few of the games in Humble Bundle 5 are making their Android debut, and Dynamite Jack is one of them. This retro-styled game that reminds us of old arcade titles translates well to the phone with touch controls. And because its part of the Humble Bundle, it won't cost you much to play.

Hang with us after the break and see how Dynamite Jack performs in its first Android release.

Like many popular games nowadays, Dynamite Jack is appealing to our retro sensibilities with low-res graphics and simple gameplay. The basic storyline of the game is that you are a “brave space marine” that was captured in battle, and are trying to stealthily navigate through caverns and hallways to escape. You move your character with either an on-screen joystick or by drawing paths with your finger, and any item actions are used with large buttons. You can configure in the settings which controls you want and where you want them, which is really nice for left-handed players that may want them switched. The game can be played in both portrait and landscape as well, interestingly, which can actually give different advantages on certain levels.

Each level starts off with your character in the middle of the screen, surrounded by darkness. Wandering over to pick up a flashlight, you can illuminate the area in front of you to get your bearings. As you progress through the different caves, hallways and structures you’ll come across guards that are out to find you. If you're seen by just a single guard, you're set back to the last checkpoint you reached. With combinations of the flashlight to see, bombs to break walls and key cards to access doors you make your way from the start to a blinking beacon at the end of each level. The levels start out simple, but progress to be more difficult by requiring that you jump through different hoops (figuratively) to make it all the way to the end.

Scoring is based on how long it takes you to complete each level, along with how many data cartridges you can collect along the way -- things that are directly at odds with each other. The levels are short in terms of distance, but you’re kept busy with the different ways you’ll be expected complete them. Like other well-designed games, there’s a degree of replayability in Dynamite Jack because of the time-based scoring system. But even if you decide to just play through each level quickly, there’s plenty of content to keep you busy for many hours.

We think the developers of Dynamite Jack have done a pretty great job at their first release on Android, with well-adapted touchscreen controls and absolutely no gameplay issues. This game is just one more reason to consider dropping by the Humble Bundle site to donate and get the entire package. Be sure to keep your eyes on Android Central in the coming days where we'll be looking at the rest of the games included in Humble Bundle 5.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.