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Ultimate Jan Ken Pon: Game Review

Ultimate Jan Ken Pon is a modernized rock, paper and scissors game with a combat feature  developed as a debut project by Bakcorp Studio, a company located in Montpellier, France. It tells the story of our spirit character (which we get to choose among three at the beginning) who has to win battles with the goal of becoming the grand Dojo master. Currently it is only available as an online video game where the area offers the choice of dueling with friends or the world where the computer will choose the opponent. However, a story mode is in development.

Ultimate Jan Ken Pon is rather new to the market. The gameplay mechanics are pretty straightforward as well. It requires its players equipped with their guardian spirits to exercise strategy and reflex in a world inspired by Asian culture and manga. With each fight, we can equip and level up our guardians. There are three rounds in a match and each round is a series of Rock, Paper, Scissors sequences. If you lose, you need to react the fastest possible to defend. If you win, deal more damage when you react faster to pressing the attack button. If it is a draw, there are three different mini games for rock, paper, scissors respectively. The challenge is in the limited time to respond to each match  to think clearly about whether the rock, paper or scissor is defense or attack.

The first look at this might seem like a very skeptical yet unconventional combination however, it works to certain extents. In theory, a game of Rock Paper Scissors can get old pretty quick. However, Bakcorp Studio has done many things right. First of all, the art style of the game is cute and dynamic especially in its character designs for the guardian spirits and the items they use for defense and attack. Second, there is some engaging music playing in the background during the battle. Third, it is a simple idea put into a well-executed fun time. There are some very witty special moves and defense mechanisms that make this game really charming.

Ultimate Jan Ken Pon
Ultimate Jan Ken Pon Gameplay

However, one point to make as perhaps a slight criticism is to prematurely launch an online battle game without having built a foundation. If we look at the Android downloads, its roughly at a thousand as this review goes up and unless the player can get friends to join in and connect, the world duel function takes too much time to match up with other players. It may have been better to launch a story mode alongside to build up the audience first.

Ultimate Jan Ken Pon is currently available on Android and will be released on iOS soon.

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