JAZZPUNK! It's a punchy and satisfying word to shout in bars, at interviews, and in the middle of conversations. That's what I've been doing ever since I played the IGF preview build last month. Little surprise then that the comedy espionage adventure was nominated for the competition's Seumas McNally Grand Prize . Today, creator Luis Hernandez announced both the mysterious appearance of the game's Steam page , and JAZZPUNK! a release date of February 7th.
As the Jazzpunk website explains , the game is a comedy adventure, in which you must explore and interact with an espionage-obsessed world. It's frequently hilarious: taking the absurdism of a game like Gravity Bone, and running it all the way to a natural, joke-packed conclusion. Actual laughs have been heard, out loud, in the PC Gamer office, as various staff members did unsavoury things to a pigeon. Er, in the game.
Beyond the joy of playing a game filled with funnies, it's good to see a developer having fun with the format. These exploratory adventures have, over the last couple of years, started to shift from the Art Game seriousness of something like Dear Esther, into well-honed dissections of a particular theme. Gone Home was the aftermath of a soap opera, using the medium for small-scale character drama. The Stanley Parable was a meta-comedy, twisting itself into knots to fully explore every permutation of user interaction. I've only played a few levels of Jazzpunk, but its focus seems equally pure. It just wants to make you laugh.
For more Jazzpunk, you can read my hands-on preview of the IGF build. Alternatively, watch the below trailer, which doesn't really explain anything, but is entertaining anyway.