JRago: The Demon Hunter is a 2D platformer/Metroidvania style game developed and published by JRago Studios. The game was released on June 30, 2023 on Steam. On behalf of the Handheld Gaming Community I would like to thank Jrago Studios for the review code.
The game takes place in a world engulfed in darkness. People are either dying of disease, or by the evil ones. They tried to fortify themselves into big cities, but unfortunately those cities are falling one after the other. The last hope is the call for brave demon hunters to fight the evil ones and bring back the light. Jrago is the name of the character you are controlling. He is a young man who volunteered to fight the evil ones.
Jrago starts you off in your town where depending on your difficulty level you will get all of your initial gear. I started my game on Normal, and got a helmet, whereas on Easy I got a heal spell. Let’s touch briefly on the difficulty level. Jrago is a very difficult game. I did my first several hours of the game in Normal mode, and I died so many times. However, I feel as though each time I tried I got a little bit better. I still died of course, but I was able to make it just a little bit further. There are save points called Sanctuaries on our path as the game progresses. Once you step into one you will have your health, skill, and magic bars raised to full, and your game saved. Jrago reminded me of Super Ghouls and Ghosts but with a metal soundtrack.
The game does a solid job of keeping itself locked at a solid 60 fps the entire time. Jrago uses an interesting mix of pixel art and photo realistic backgrounds. The characters in the towns, and even Jrago himself are pretty basic pixel art. However, when you are on your way and killing demons, the artstyle just seems to work.
Jrago’s story is a basic one. Go kill the demons and bring light to the world. There seems to be some religious themes throughout the game. At the very beginning the very first sanctuary is in what looks like a church. Throughout the game there are these excerpts from the Apocropha. They sounded wicked. Though I couldn’t tell you what their significance was apart from sounding even more wicked while the melodic heavy metal plays in the background. You can collect ancient texts and music tracks from the different areas you will travel.
This game has a good soundtrack. I should preface that. If you like melodic heavy metal, you will love the background sounds in the game. All the people you encounter are voiced, and there are a few different things to say to you as you keep talking to them. I really enjoyed putting some headphones on and slaying lots of demons.
Jrago will keep you occupied for a long time. I spent two hours on Normal and just got to the same spot where I got to in just 20-30 minutes on Easy. Each attempt I made resulted in just ever so slight variations in my experience. Combine that with the ability to increase difficulty and start again. You can buy Jrago on the Steam store for $15.99. If you are a fan of Metroidvania games like Castlevania, and Ghouls and Ghosts this game is right up your alley.
I came across this game because the developer is a member of the Handheld Gaming Community. He was posting about his game, and it looked interesting. I think it is fascinating when games are brought to market by one person. Jrago is a very high quality game, that was a lot of fun to play. The soundtrack is very good, and the gameplay feels good. Check this game out if you enjoy Metroidvania style games. I would like to thank Jrago Studios for the review code.