The Joogle Bros. is an RPG/Platformer hybrid that EX-tra Games began development on back in 2005. With its catchy marketing slogan "Ir Is Gomirg"*, The Joogle Bros. became one of the most anticipated games of all time, with around 5 people who actually enjoyed the crappy demo for some reason eagerly wairing to play it. But upon its release in March 2008, after almost three years of development, it did not live up to the insanely high expectations critics had for it and was ultimately considered a failure. So what happened to the so-called "Best Game Ever"? Where did the developers go wrong? As a lead designer on the project, I'm here to not answer any of those questions, but I might do so accidentally while I play through it and make fun of it. Here's the first update!
Welcome to The Joogle Bros.! Which will henceforth be referred to as simply "Joogle". We're going to be starting a "New Game". But before we can play, we have to watch the intro cutscene, starring some mostly identical colored blobs and a weird gray thing.
The King of the City is Surn. He was once the head of the Joogle Army until it was decided he could take up the throne. Second in command is Joogle the 38th.
Unlike previous Joogles, Joogle the 38th had a brother named Pilid. Pilid became the leader of the army once Surn became King.
To summarize: Joogle is a game about a Joogle named Joogle who lives in Joogle City on Planet Joogle and his brother commands the Joogle Army. There's also KING SURN who is very important to the plot.
In one of Joogle's many shocking plot twists, the gray thing is revealed to be a rocket. Okay. Suddenly!
: You two! Tell me where the Keys of Joogle are!
: The Keys of Joogle? Why, they're scattered all over this world... it would take years to find them!
: ...Hmmph. I don't have that long.
: Regardless, I will rule this world! So I will need all the help I can get...
: Go and get me the keys!
Using powerful magic and built-in GM special effects, the strange gray Joogle turns all the other Joogles into sideways versions of himself and also disappears. Joogle and Pilid, unaffected thanks to their anti-purple armor, decide to go tell KING SURN about what's going on.
: His name is Belvice. He goes from planet to planet, destroying one after the other for fun!
: He is very powerful... if he gets a hold of the keys, controllers of the elements, he could not only destroy our world but command it. Joogle and Pilid, you must stop him at all costs!
: Both of you, follow me, and I shall lead you to the Air Key.
And so begins CHAPTER 1:
I have no idea what those things in the background are supposed to be. I asked vgperson, the artist responsible for this picture, for some clarification:
First we have a stupid tutorial level. It's long and has lot of textboxes that appear out of nowhere to give you hot tips like "If you run out of health you die."
It may look like Joogle has developed wheels, but sadly this is not the case. These are in fact the particle effects that appear when you slam (by pressing down) into cracked blocks and break them.
This is one of two utterly pointless walls that starts to fade out when you get close to it and will block your path for a second or so if you try to rush through too fast. I honestly can't think of any reason for them existing. Also the gray guys are called "Blagons".
Here's where Joogle introduces its core gameplay mechanic: character switching.
Pilid is twice as fast as Joogle, but has half as much health. You will have to switch between Joogle and Pilid many times throughout the game to solve complex puzzles, like "get through this door that only Joogle can enter" or "jump over this gap that only Pilid is fast enough to jump over."
I didn't notice this until now, but if you zoom in really closely each key has a little design on it that represents its element. This would be cool if it was actually possible to see. Thanks vgperson.
But it's actually not all he has to teach you because there are two more textboxes after this telling you about the areas up ahead: The Labs, the Hidden Entry To The Air Chamber Beyond The Labs, and The Sewers. After that though, you can enter...
This is LAB No. 1 as you can see from the ugly looking sign. There are also some brown things which are supposed to be coins, used primarily to buy items that you will never use because Mitch wanted to have shops in this game for some reason. Below them there's a Hint Joogle! Let's see what he has to say!
Thanks Hint Joogle.
Down here is the sewers, but you can't do anything in them until after the third chapter or something. You may have noticed I switched to Pilid; that's because he's much faster that Joogle which makes him extremely useful because this game is really boring and you'll want to get through it as quickly as possible. I'll pretty much never use Joogle unless I am forced to, which unfortunately happens a lot.
Joogle is an RPG/Platformer hybrid, and you can't have an RPG without fetch quests!
Here we see a useful sign reminding us that were are still in LAB No. 1, as well as some fetuses or something. But more importantly there's a STAR EGG. If you collect every STAR EGG in the game you'll get to see the secret ending, which you definitely want to see. I can't reach this one now, but I'll backtrack and pick it up later.
Key card! It's very big.
The "doors" are that random collection of floating gray blocks surrounding you.
EVERY TIME you collect a health pickup in this game a textbox appears telling you that you got one followed by another textbox to inform you that it restored 50% of your health. EVERY TIME.
'Clicker'! Remember that one?*
After a bit more level we reach LAB No. 5.
...Or not? This "cryogenically frozen" line was rewritten several times but it still doesn't make any sense.
Here you have to switch to Pilid to make this jump. We considered having both a Joogle and Pilid switching machine here but decided it might be too difficult for players to figure out which one to use. This was only the first area; we couldn't put all our hardest puzzles in it.
This guy survived the Blagon attacks by hiding under some breakable blocks. The tube-fetus was not so lucky. For some reason he decides to tell you about how much damage spikes do.
What the **** is that supposed to mean.
I can't go down because of UPDRAFTS so I die to spikes. Fortunately this area is short and doesn't take long to beat again. Right after this I slam down and enter...
LAB No. 2, which is the third Lab section, which comes after LAB No. 5. Yep.
This was the first level I designed for Joogle. I wrote some pretty hilarious NPC dialogue, as seen below:
Ha ha! Get it? No legs!
This level presents you with a strategic character selection opportunity. Do you want more health (Joogle), or more speed (Pilid)? You want more speed, you moron. Joogle is terrible.
In the first half of this level you avoid a lot of Blagons. Fun!
Here we see another key hologram, and the only moving NPC in the entire game.
In the second half you avoid a lot of spikes, which are like Blagons but they look different and don't move.
At the top is the exit. But first, some more zany dialogue:
Oh man, you thought he was going to save your game but he didn't! Isn't that hilarious? I hate myself.
See you next update!