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Masochism Explored - Mighty Jill Off Review
One of the things I appreciate greatly about the indie gaming scene is the constant practice by developers to explore concepts in a unique fashion. Mighty Jill Off is a freeware indie game that isn’t especially long, but throughout its duration, it challenges you greatly and makes you think about plenty of themes often considered controversial such as lesbianism, bondage, and sexuality. Underneath all of those concepts is a game that is truly rewarding and worth playing for anyone who’s mature enough to explore its various storytelling ideas.
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You play as Jill, a BDSM-loving lesbian with a boot fetish. At the start of the game, you see the protagonist licking her queen’s boot, only to be scolded and told that she needs to earn the privilege to please her. Touchy stuff indeed, but a respectable story that you really need to admire due to its ability to tread water that’s often left purposely ignored. Jill is tossed out of the room and sent to the lowest chambers of the queen’s castle, and it is your job to help her get back to the top.
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Mighty Jill Off Gameplay
Mighty Jill Off is a vertical platformer. There’s no horizontal side-scrolling whatsoever, and all of the challenge comes from maneuvering around obstacles and enemies as you climb upward. Along the way you must dodge spikes, fire, and Skulltula-like spider enemies. The game’s challenge doesn’t take long to develop, and you are immediately tasked with avoiding countless hazards as you progress. Mighty Jill Off is an increasingly difficult platformer, and you will probably die many times during your first play-through of the game. Luckily, checkpoint placement is fair, so you never feel cheated when you do die.
Jill can jump really high to reach ledges, platforms, and pillars. Additionally, by tapping on the jump button, you can slow the rate of Jill’s fall so that she’s almost gliding through the air. This is especially useful the further you progress, as it helps you reach platforms that are much farther away. It’s also a good way to prevent landing on spikes and fire, and it provides a good level of control when you’re trying to avoid touching spiders while in mid-air.
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You control Jill’s movement using your computer keyboard’s arrow keys, and by tapping on the spacebar, shift, CTRL, or Z keys, you can make her jump. The controls are incredibly simple, and thankfully, they’re remarkably functional and work really well. So if you’re bummed out that the game doesn’t feature controller support, don’t worry too much, because the game controls fine with the keyboard.
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While Mighty Jill Off may be challenging as heck, it’s certainly easy on the eyes. The entire game looks like a stylish NES game, and thanks to modern advancements in technology, everything in the game has a clean, polished look. The art style is retro and decorated entirely in pixels, and it does a good job of capturing the essence of platformers on the NES. The cutscenes in the game are also awesome, and these have a more hand-drawn look to them. They’re simple but effective, and Jill is one adorable little fetishist.
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There are only a couple of themes heard throughout the game, and thankfully, these are catchy and enjoyable to listen to. The music heard throughout the castle is enjoyably old school and sounds a lot like something you would hear in an 8-bit game. Perhaps a little more variety would have been nice, but considering the game isn't very long, more themes are pretty much unnecessary.
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If you manage to get through Mighty Jill Off in under 12 minutes, you’ll unlock Jill Off Harder mode, which features a new castle to play through, and you can rest assured that the difficulty will kick your butt in this mode. You’re bound to spend about 30 minutes playing through this download, which means Mighty Jill Off isn’t exactly a long game. But looking at the entire package, it doesn’t need to be. Developer Anna Anthropy has explored interesting themes and put them in a compelling game in a way that makes sense. If you enjoy this game, then you’re pretty much like Jill: you get a thrill out of punishment.
Mighty Jill Off is a stellar indie game, and one that could easily be marketed for $10 on a download platform. But at absolutely no cost, there’s no reason for anyone with an affinity for sadistic platformers to pass this one up. Play it, enjoy it, and come to the realization that a little masochism is definitely a good thing when you're playing video games.