Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: Jack Lumber

2:00 PM on 05.05.2013 // Chris Carter

I'm knot joking, it's as solid as an oak

Last year, an unassuming game came to iOS in the form of Jack Lumber. At first glance, it seemed to be a clone of Fruit Ninja, but upon careful inspection, it was actually a much, much deeper experience.

Developer Owlchemy Labs have demonstrated that they can create an interesting, captivating world on top of a solid gameplay foundation, and best of all -- an obscene over-the-top love for puns.

Jack Lumber (iPad, iPhone, PC [reviewed])
Developer: OwlchemyLabs
Publisher: OwlchemyLabs
Release: April 30, 2013
MSRP: $7.49

Jack Lumber is a fairly level-headed guy -- that is, when evil trees aren't murdering his Granny. Out for revenge, the magical Jack awakens his lumberjack time-freezing powers, and vows to kill every last tree. It's a silly setup, and it's one you'll be able to pick up and play in seconds, as the game is easily controlled by way of your mouse -- as logs fly up on the screen, you just click to freeze time, and trace a line through the ends of each log to cut them for points.

At a base level, that's essentially it. But the key concept here is that you choose when to freeze the action, kind of like a bullet-time button in Max Payne. Not only is your slicing ability called into question, but in later levels, actually choosing when to freeze time can be a major factor as well.

Then you're introduced to one way logs, which force you to cut a certain way to clear them. Or the maple syrups, which have to be cut dead last after you've dispatched all of the wood. Or even further, the concept of a log that splits into three when you hold your cursor near it, or the explosive barrel, and so on. Now imagine a new concept introduced every few levels, and imagine them all mixing together in some stages.

As you progress through the game you'll begin to see patterns -- like mazes -- appear. If you "straight cut" (essentially zipping your mouse through multiple pieces) a certain area, you'll find an easier route to the next set of pieces before time runs out, which will earn you more points. You can also earn more points by quickly cutting through logs and earning combos for not breaking sequence. It's an intriguing prospect, and one that doesn't really let up through the entire length of the game. Jack Lumber is as casual or as hardcore as you want it to be, which is perfect for pretty much any puzzle fan.

The mobile staple "challenges" (called Errands) are also intact, which task you with completing three distinct tasks over the course of your adventure, cycling in and out as you finish them. Errands consist of typical fare like "slice three straight-cuts," or "get an eight log combo." It's a minor annoyance, but these challenges don't show up in the pause screen when playing, which makes it tough to figure out what you need to do if you were so inclined to grab a quick reminder.

So what's the actual point of the game? Well, you'll trek through each stage as you progress through the outlandish narrative, meet new characters, attempt to earn a three star rating, and ... rescue animals? Yep, at the very end of every stage, you have to avoid cutting up a cute woodland critter -- if you succeed, you'll take them home with you.

As you start to fill your cabin with creatures, you'll see more and more puns fill the room compliments of the wily Beaver -- perhaps more puns than most could ever hope to handle in a lifetime. Thankfully, I happen to pine for puns myself -- it's just something to be aware of, if you're not a fan of overly silly tones.

Completing levels will earn you wood, which is like Jack Lumber's currency. Unlike the iOS version, there's no microtransactions system to speak of, so there's no fear of a curbed economy or pay-walling. The same items from the iOS version are on offer, some of which are one-use items, most of which are cosmetic (everybody loves hats!), barring a few "beards" that grant some pretty tame special abilities. I really wish the developers used this opportunity to expand the store, perhaps with a few new stages or modes, as it would have gave more prior users a chance to double-dip.

Nevertheless, for a budget priced game there's tons of content on offer here, with online leaderboards, the ability to earn three stars on every stage, and the entire shop to peruse. You'll also have the opportunity to tackle Infinitrees if you've saturated every ranking, which are basically infinite challenges.

All in all, Jack Lumber is pretty straight-forward with what it's offering you. While it could have stood to include a bit more content with the PC re-release and a few enhanced tweaks, it's still an incredibly fun time-waster that happens to challenge you from time to time. You'll cut wood, you'll freeze time, repeat, and somehow it remains compelling.

So what are yew waiting for? Branch out, and give this charming puzzle game a try. Yule won't be sorry.



Jack Lumber - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Jack Lumber

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Things I'm Thankful For

Cblogs of 11/25/15 + Turkey N Stuff

Cheat Codes Podcast - Ep. 73: Stay Classy

NVGR: Updated Album "ADBC" (No longer an EP)

Fun2Play: Downwell

So that just happened: The Talos Principle

Sick, Sad and just dumb news: 25th November - Leighapalooza

Context Matters! Fanservice's Secrets EXPOSED!

To editorialize or not to editorialize: An editorial

Tiny Dangerous Dungeons REVIEW - The Pocket Metroidvania

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Haven't been around a few days. Getting over a cold and working on a review for Superbeat: Xonic on Vita. Starting to feel better, I think / hope.
inspavo avatarinspavo
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
So I'm almost done with my first play through of Undertale and... It's okay. It's in no way bad (and I'm enjoying it more than Fallout 4 which in also playing) but feel... It was overhyped I suppose? Not sure really... Maybe a second play though will help
Agent9 avatarAgent9
Sometimes I wonder why I care. To simply have more vitriol and misery as my reward, to suffer ingrates and fools. That in all I do I'm never afforded the same respect or kindness. Let it be then, and let pain follow. I'm done with this shit.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I was telling this dead baby joke at dinner tonight, and this lady I don't recognize says, "I'm sorry. That joke isn't funny to me, I have two dead children." At this point, I went over my options in my head and settled with telling her the joke twice.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I really wish the slowpokes at Microsoft would add Forza Horizon to Xbox One backwards compatibility.... It's my favorite racing game. And the soundtrack is honestly flawless.
Parismio avatarParismio
Some green tea and Mario Kart w/ family is a great way to end the day.
KingSigy avatarKingSigy
Honestly, Broforce might be my GOTY. It's really fucking amazing.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Welp, Remote Play is coming to PCs. Calling it now, PS Now enabled toasters and glasses will be announced at the next big Playstation event alongside cute Vita coffins made of paper you can print out of your Remote Play capable printers.
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
How did your Thanksgiving small talk with obscure relatives go? Oh, I bonded over the ethereal experience of hydrogen peroxide in ear canals but they'd never heard of Chrono Trigger so we mostly chewed the corn-flakes-on-potato thing in silence
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Don't forget [img][/img]
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
I wonder how far the show would be taken out of context if the lyrics were "Go, Go Power Rangers, you Mighty Morphine Power Rangers."
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I just tried out Skyforge, and... [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Is it weird I finally want a Samurai Warriors game because I think Koshosho is super fab? [img][/img]
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
I've never cleaned my comp in the 3-4 years I have had it. Soon I will dust it. I....I dont know what I will find, hidden in the dust.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Happy late thanksgiving Dtoid. I played Doodle God and Murasaki Baby on PSVita, and am now Achievement grinding in Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast and Furious on Xbox One. Super easy 1000G, I need it.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Black Friday pick ups so far are Shantae and the Pirate's Curse, Titan Souls and tomorrow Devil Survivor 2 Break Record ($29.99 at GameStop).
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
This thanksgiving, give thanks for the fact that your family wasnt 1 of the 3 to have picked out a wasp filled turkey, buying a meal and becoming a meal. Next year, may not bring such.....dissapointing results.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So I'm pretty sure you all should be giving thanks to Nekro. For he is the one true perfect being. Be thankful that your lives have been blessed by the addition of a Nekro. For that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
Happy Thanksgiving Dtoid! Here's hoping you didn't fall off a chair while hanging Christmas lights and bash your shin and foot into the concrete like I did!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -