A surreal romp with an emphasis on exploration, comedy and the absurd
It’s been a year and change since we released our (critically acclaimed?) modernist Cold War cyberpunk game Jazzpunk for PC/Mac/Linux. We’re now pleased-as-punch to announce that we’ve been working on bringing this surreal experience to PlayStation 4! But we didn’t want to stop at doing a simple port of the game, so we’ve been grinding away on new content and new modes that will be exclusive to the PS4 version.
So what the heck is Jazzpunk?” I hear many (most?) of you asking. That’s a tough one! But I’ll tell you what I know: Jazzpunk is the result of five years of careful laughromancy and studious application of the joke sciences.
Jazzpunk is largely an exploration/adventure game, but with a heavy focus on absurdest and surreal humour, with a sleek mid-century-modern aesthetic. We spent a lot of time creating a lush 1960s world, then tried to stuff it like a pizza crust, with as much joke-cheese as possible. I’ve been told the results are gooey and delicious.
A little bit of history on us, and the project: We’re Necrophone games, a little two-person company from Toronto, Canada. Jazzpunk began as a little side project that me and co-founder of Necrophone Games, Jess Brouse, began around 2007. Mostly it was a hobby project, something we could work on in our spare time for fun, as we’d been building a lot of small games and prototypes at the time.
Originally I had wanted to make a sort of straight-faced puzzle game set in a stylized cold-war setting. As development continued over the months and years, we had thrown in little gags and Easter-eggs, mostly for our own amusement, but at its core the game was still fairly dry in regards to its puzzles and mission structure.
Eventually we hit a make-or-break point where we reassessed the whole game and determined that our favourite sections to make (and to play!), were indeed the gags, the jokes, the comedy segments.
We decided to take the plunge into changing the genre of Jazzpunk from something like a typical “first person puzzle” game, to a comedy which at the time was (and in many ways, still is) a genre with a stigma in the video games universe. There were very few examples of comedy in games actually working at the time.
The remaining portion of development went into re-doing almost the entire game to this new-found idea of humour as the driving force behind the gameplay and exploration. It was an experiment that paid off in guffaws, knee-slaps, and chortles; it earned us an IGF Grand Prize nomination, as well as accolades from PC Gamer, GiantBomb, Eurogamer and many others.
So for those of you that have played Jazzpunk before, what’s new? Obviously there are some spoilers here for people who have yet to play the game. In Jazzpunk, one of the mini-games we included was a full-on parody of multiplayer old school deathmatch games like Unreal Tournament, Goldeneye and Quake 3 Arena, called Wedding Qake. Since release, one of the most requested features from fans, was the expansion of this “Wedding Qake” mini-game into a proper multiplayer mode.
We’re pretty jazzed to announce that we will be unveiling a full four-player splitscreen multiplayer mode into Wedding Qake, with unlockable characters and new levels, and fresh implements of devastating MATRIMONY. In addition to this, we will be adding some new content to the single player game, but I don’t want to give too much away about those, just yet. Comedy thrives on the element of surprise, after all!
In short, we’re excited to bring this award-losing experience to the PS4! Feel free to hit us up with your questions.