It doesn’t feel right to review Jettomero: Hero of the Universe like a product, because it doesn’t feel like a product to begin with. Jettomero is the waveform of a cacophonous tone poem. A bittersweet stumble across the dots in a speech bubble. If Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel, Jettomero is a tactile comic book. Each star that perforates its vast and lonely universe shines with melancholic wonder, but it will not surprise you, or challenge you.
Load up a trailer. Watch the titular tentative titan stagger his way across the surface of a planet for a moment. If you are in love, like I was, with Jettomero‘s uniqueness, then you will find nothing in your three hour playtime to dissuade you. If you are not immediately drawn in by the regretful, earnest automaton, you will find no tricks up his rusty red sleeves to convince you otherwise.
Developer: Ghost Time Games
Publisher: Ghost Time Games
Formats: Xbox One, PC [Reviewed]
Released: September 15, 2017
Jettomero cannot be killed, but he won’t begrudge the humans he meets for trying. He doesn’t become angry. He harbours no ill will or longing for vengeance. He knows that they’re simply unaware that he’s come to save them. It’s not his fault that he’s clumsy, and that a foot out of place can topple entire civilisations. He hopes you won’t mind that he just crushed your metropolis to dust in the blink of an eyelid. He’s here to help. He’s a hero. He truly wishes you could see that.
When he lands on your planet, he might be here for a day, or just an hour. He might collect some new parts, like a torso with a tutu, or a Victorian diving helmet. He’s sure to try his best not to level your city whilst gathering up enough to fuel to blast off again. Do not fear! If Jettomero finds a monstrous Kaiju threatening your planet, it’s his duty to destroy the beast in single combat, played out through a series of simple quicktime events. After combat, he might recall a memory. Some lost fragment of history, deciphered through word puzzles. When he leaves for his destination, he might know a little more about who he is, and how he came to be. What’s for certain, though, is by the time he’s gone he’ll have saved you all. Don’t let the ruins of all you once held dear fool you.
Whoever transmits the harmonious signals through space that soundtrack Jettomero‘s voyage, it feels they know the robot better than he knows himself. The ambient music, like Jettomero, is coy but sincere. Tentative. Unsure of the future but optimistic to meet it. Lucid, glittering synth tinkles bubble up from the black expanse, all velvet and silver and sherbet fireworks. It is simply enough to be Jettomero, sometimes, in this space, with this sound.
Jettomero is a simple robot, and you’ll understand him quickly. If you’ve much experience with the sort of stories and settings that produce giant robots like him, there’s a good chance you might guess exactly where this journey is taking you, long before it ends. Jettomero is not here to test you, though. He’s here to rescue you, to take you away from danger. If you’re prepared to lose yourself for a few hours in this meditative and whimsical experience, he might do just that.
- Gorgeous art, soundtrack and premise
- Tactile and responsive controls that make Jettomero a pleasure to navigate
- Tinman’s not only got a heart, but genuine soul
- Light on any real mechanical challenge – this is only a negative if you’re expecting it, however.
- Glitched out on me twice. The first time required a restart. The second, I lost a large chunk of progress
- Fundamentally unambitious. The same inventiveness of style does not extend to features.
“To be, or not to be?”
That’s a question, isn’t it? Which is the opposite of a conclusion.