Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom
Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom
First Released
May 22, 2007 (17 years 0 months 28 days)
Very Poor
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The DS exclusive sequel to the Death Jr. series. Developed by Backbone Entertainment and published by Konami.

Editor review

1 review
A Grim Misadventure: A First-Hand Journey Through 'Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom

Reviewed on Nintendo DS in December 2023
Overall rating
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Exploring the dark and quirky world of 'Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom' was an experience filled with mixed emotions. As I navigated through the game's peculiar narrative and gameplay, I was constantly torn between appreciation for its unique concept and frustration over its execution.

Gameplay & Mechanics:
At its core, 'Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom' is a platformer that struggles to find its footing. The transition from 3D to a more side-scrolling approach, while retaining 3D models and environments, created a disjointed experience. The levels were often overly long and repetitive, leading to a sense of monotony rather than excitement​​. The combat system, featuring DJ's scythe as the primary weapon, along with a few other quirky armaments like guns and C4 hamsters, offered some depth with upgradeable combos. However, these upgrades felt unnecessary as the combat required minimal effort, often reducing encounters to mindless button mashing​​.

The platforming elements, supposed to be a staple of the game, turned out to be its Achilles' heel. The controls were imprecise, making navigation through the levels a task more tedious than enjoyable. The inconsistency in mechanics, especially in ledge-grabbing, added to the frustration, often leading to unnecessary retries and progress loss​​.

Narrative & Characters:

The premise of the game seemed promising – a school science fair gone awry, opening portals to demonic realms. The protagonist, Death Jr., a skeletal child and the son of the Grim Reaper, along with his quirky friends, including a ghostly girl named Pandora and other bizarre characters, set out to rectify the chaos unleashed at their school​​. However, the potential of this darkly humorous setup was undercut by lackluster writing. The characters, despite their intriguing designs, lacked depth and personality. The dialogue was devoid of the humor and charm one would expect from such an eccentric cast, rendering the narrative flat and unengaging​​.

Graphics & Sound:

On a positive note, the game did a decent job with its graphics, considering the limitations of the DS platform. The art style, employing sprite-assisted polygonal models against well-crafted backgrounds, created a visually appealing world, albeit marred by a bland art style. The sound design was functional but unremarkable, with basic sound effects and a forgettable soundtrack failing to enhance the gaming experience significantly​​​​.

Multiplayer & Additional Features:
The game includes multiplayer modes, but these too felt like an afterthought. The modes – a breakout clone and a combat-oriented mode – were more entertaining than the main game, but still lacked the polish and appeal to be considered noteworthy additions​​.

Fun Factor: 35/100
- The game struggles to maintain player engagement due to repetitive combat and uninspiring platforming mechanics.

Visual & Sound Quality: 60/100
- Decent graphics with a blend of 2D/3D models and creatively designed environments are a highlight, though the sound design is lackluster and fails to add much to the overall experience.

Replayability: 25/100 - With its linear storyline, repetitive gameplay, and lack of engaging content, there's little incentive to revisit the game once completed.

Level of Challenge: 40/100 - While the game offers some platforming challenges, the overall difficulty is undermined by imprecise controls and unengaging combat, making it more frustrating than challenging.

In conclusion, 'Death Jr. and the Science Fair of Doom' had the elements of an engaging and unique platformer but was ultimately let down by its flawed execution. The game suffered from imprecise controls, uninspiring level design, and a narrative that failed to capitalize on its intriguing premise. While the graphics showed some promise, they couldn't compensate for the game's other shortcomings. It's a game that hints at potential but ultimately falls short of delivering a satisfying experience​​​​.

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