Johnny Rocket tells the story of well…uh… Johnny Rocket who’s world gets invaded by evil forces led by none of Adolf Hitler. Rocket needs to man up, grab his gun and hunt down Hitler’s army and bring back peace to the world.
Johnny Rocket is a 2D run n’ gun shooter where you can shoot, jump and double jump to kill enemies and avoid obstacles. Johnny cannot shoot up nor crouch which limits the possibilities. Each level is full of enemies and obstacles trying to stop you in your efforts. The main nuisance here is that when enemies are close to spawning, they can shoot you before you actually see them means a lot, and I mean *a lot* of cheap hits. Thankfully, there’s toilet paper scattered through the levels to refill your health.
Given you’ll often succumb to cheap hits, the game has a few checkpoint systems which allow players to resume mid-level instead of starting back from the beginning. The problem with it is that some checkpoints are smack dab in the middle of enemies, so when you respawn, they respawn, so you’re bombarded the minute you pop on screen. Bosses battles are the most boring and frustrating ever conceived; mostly due to the fact that you can’t determine when the post-hit invincibility ends so you have to shoot, wait and shoot hoping the invincibility frame is done.
While most of the game is spent running and gunning, there’s a plane level where you need to shoot down enemies and avoid obstacles crushing you. It’s pretty fun and challenging, but sometimes it’s difficult to spot enemy projectiles and also the level that will generate the most questionable deaths. If you barely touch anything, aside from flying enemies, you’re dead. Good thing for checkpoints.
Given the run n’ gun genre filled with classic and solid games such as the Contra series, you’d expect this to be a solid experience. Well sorry to disappoint, but this game is a broken mess. Aside from random off-screen enemy bullets, the hit detection is questionable at times, the double jump is sometimes unresponsive leading to pretty unfair deaths. Oh, and the final boss is Hitler with a machinegun for a dick. Yeah.
Johnny Rocket features a unique, minimalist visual presentation which is by far the best thing in the game. The game’s background is all white and everything is simple black line design. It’s easy on the eyes and actually a nice diversion from most insanely bright and colorful game. The soundtrack is pretty forgettable. It was easily drowned out by focusing on trying to survive and avoid cheap enemy attacks.
Johnny Rocket is a game to be avoided at all costs. It’s short, frustrating, cheap and full of questionable design. Cheap and unpreventable enemy attacks, questionable detection issues, unresponsive jumping, boring bosses, zero replay value, the only redeeming quality about the game is its unique visual presentation. I guess it’s something right? Given the amount of better run n’ gun available, don’t waste your time with Johnny Rocket.
- Unique visual presentation
- Cheap unavoidable enemy bullets
- Questionable hit detection
- Zero replay value
- Only 3 levels