IGN Review of Jikandia: The Timeless Land
Jikandia: The Timeless Land is an old school hack-and-slash dungeon crawler with too much time on its hands. A group of nine friends are warped into the dimension of Jikandia while on their way to school and must set about putting an end to the evil that is consuming the land. To do so, you'll dive into randomly generated dungeons, beat up monsters, defeat bosses, collect loot, and reform your scattered group of friends. Unfortunately, the action isn't exciting enough nor the rewards valuable enough to keep you interested for very long.
Jikandia's dungeons are 2D platforming areas made up of many tiny rooms. Each room is populated with monsters and treasure chests and only takes a few seconds to run through. The key feature here is that you get to decide how long each dungeon takes to complete, from three to 30 minutes. The longer you hang out, the more valuable loot you'll find and the more money you'll earn to spend back in town. But since the gameplay is dull and repetitive, I never wanted to spend more than the minimum amount of time required.
It would be a different story if you earned fabulous rewards for increasing the time limit, but Jikandia is pretty stingy. After a couple hours of playing, I had amassed quite the fortune but didn't have anything to spend it on in town – the weapon selection was the same weak array from when I started the game. If I got a cool new axe or a katana, I'd be psyched to run back into the dungeon and check it out, but Jikandia doesn't reward me often enough to keep me hooked.
In each dungeon you'll find one of your schoolmates and can add them to your party -- but you can only take two students with you at a time. Because each kid has his or her own attack style, this feature adds a nice little bit of strategy to Jikandia. Another interesting customization opportunity comes with the quartz crystals you find in dungeons. As you progress through the game you'll unlock more and more slots where you can equip the crystals, giving you a range of upgrade possibilities from attack boosts to defense bonuses to poison immunities.
Jikandia uses retro pixel art, which I'm usually a big fan of, but here the character designs are pretty generic and the creatures you meet in the dungeons lack personality. They're all just blobs of different colors.
The story and dialogue are pretty inane, but even if you find them intriguing, you'll struggle to follow along. When you can control the dialogue, you have to trudge through it one line at a time. Worse, in dungeons, your characters talk on their own and you'll be too busy with the action on screen to pay attention.
Jikandia includes a Coliseum where you can meet up with friends via ad hoc and go dungeon diving together.
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