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JETBOY & the Randomizer of DOOM Review

JETBOY & the Randomizer of DOOM from GameOverDog is available on Steam and the Nintendo Switch. The Switch version is what I played. It is a retro supercharged jetpacking pixel shooter with a metal soundtrack that will give you more thrills than you are prepared for. In story mode, you play as Dave – a bored citizen of Gaia, trying to liven up his dull existence by taking a trip to the aptly named Doom Nebula, with its Randomizer Belts packed full of danger.

JETBOY reiterates why I love indie games

I’ve harped on a fair bit recently about my love for pixel art in games. It’s fantastic, okay? You can disagree if you want, but I will forever consider your opinion to be wrong and consign it to the dustbin in my head where that opinion belongs. Pixel art in games is the best. Sure, I love stunning graphics as much as the next person – I’ve been playing EverSpace 2 recently, and it’s up there for the best space graphics you’ll find. But if I have to choose between that level of detail and pixel art, then pixel art wins. I will die on this hill! I absolutely love that I’ve been seeing more and more games go back to this format. So, lets get into the game.

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The Game

There are two game modes – story and arcade. For story mode, you have to help Dave get away from it all with a vacation to the infamous Doom Nebula. For Randomizer Arcade Mode, you have selectable console themes with randomizer planets, baddies, bosses, weapons, powerups and difficulty settings, which means every play is unique.

The gameplay is pretty straightforward. It’s fast and furious (not the stupid film series), occasionally frustrating and has some of the simplest controls you’ll find in a game. There are just two buttons needed – one for thrust for your jetpack and the other for your weapon.

You start each stage with just your jetpack. You have limited but rechargeable fuel and no way to defend yourself. So the sooner you find your weapon, the better. The aim is to try and collect four pieces of fuel for your ship so that you can blast off to the next world. There are other power-ups along the way that spawns randomly amongst some fairly overwhelming swarms of enemies. It’s a game that requires you to be quick and precise if you want to actually make it through the level. Sometimes you can have a nice little break as the enemies bounce around on the other half of the screen, but when they all start coming your way again, you need to be sure of where you’re shooting or jetpacking to. Some enemies can only die with headshots, for example.

With most stages, it only takes a few hits before you die. It’s not all bad, though, as you appear to have infinite continues, which helps an awful lot, particularly with those frustrating levels where you just want to beat it instead of having to start the game over. It’s a nice touch for a game that can get quite challenging. And if you take a few seconds before each level, the stage is introduced with a world map. It gives you some really useful text about the difficulty, the enemies you’ll encounter and tips on how to survive. It’s easy to miss or ignore at first, but as you progress, it becomes vital information. So get used to checking it out before each level.

Every stage has its own quirks, whether it’s with game mechanics, enemies or the look. It can make some levels seem a bit unfair as everything seems to be stacked against you, but that’s part of what makes it enjoyable.

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Look & Sound

The game is stunning. Not your usual graphics heavy stunning, but pixel art stunning that doesn’t get complicated and manages to create some incredible-looking aliens to fight. Some are pretty simple and boring, but not everything needs to be detailed or contain a load of limbs. Consider the variety of animals we have here on earth. Some are pretty simple looking and boring. Who says going into space to meet aliens would mean we’re not going to meet an alien that looks exactly like a slug? Although there is a centipede-like alien that has a humanoid rider which is quite cool and probably killed me more times than anything else.

The level designs range from bland to interesting. However, even the bland ones have enough to enjoy, so it’s not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s fairly useful as there’s less going on, which means you can concentrate more on doing what you need and getting out of there.

And then there’s the soundtrack. It’s excellent. There’s not really much more to say about it. I’ve played games like this where the soundtrack just gets annoying, and I end up muting it. I’ve not done that once with JETBOY & the Randomizer of DOOM. A well thought-out soundtrack.

Oh, and with Arcade Mode, you can customise the game from a visual standpoint. It’s a nice little feature.

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Length & Replayability

There are a lot of levels already, but new ones were added a few months ago, so I wouldn’t be surprised if more get added later on. The planets are small enough that adding new ones wouldn’t be too big a problem. There’s plenty of room for expansion. And with the two game modes, there’s plenty of gameplay available to you.

Arcade Mode, in particular, offers you plenty of game time that you can just go back to regularly. It throws random elements at you, and you see how many stages you can survive in a row. And then, you know, you try and beat your record. Over and over again.


It didn’t take me long to know that this was a game I was going to love. The first level took a bit of warming up as I worked out the controls – they’re simple, but I’m not going to read some guide on how to do it. I’m just going to try every button and see what they do like a normal person. After that first level, though, it’s been incredibly enjoyable. It’s the kind of game that when people ask why you love indie games, this is why. On the Switch, it’s perfect for on-the-go gaming. This is what some games need to be. Not over complicated. Not trying too much. Just aiming for a simple gameplay with easy-to-adopt controls that you can pick up again and again. It’s a game that I’ll be going back to regularly, I think.

I score JETBOY & the Randomizer of DOOM a brilliant 9/10. A small but brilliantly fun game that can pose a surprising challenge. I love this game.

A code was kindly provided for us to review this.

We Score This Game

rating score: 9


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