Flipline Studios' Jacksmith is primo hero material, you guys. Except for, uh. The whole "might" and "talent" thing. I mean... he's a pretty good blacksmith, but there's a reason donkeys don't do a whole lot of adventuring. If he wants to put an end to his money woes and rescue the princess, however, Jack's going to have to learn... or at least be willing to shell out a whole bunch of free weapons to pay people to do his work for him. In this fantasy simulation game, you'll join Jack and his friend Scout on the trail of the dastardly wizard who nabbed the princess, learning to forge increasingly more powerful weapons for the soldiers who are willing to pick up arms for him, and gather new, more powerful blueprints and materials along the way.
Despite there being nary a fast food item in sight, gameplay is pretty similar to Flipline's Papa's series of games... only with steel and pigmen. At the start of each day, Scout will warn you about the incoming enemies, and you'll have to create the weapons your soldiers will use to fight. They'll place orders, and you'll fill them. Each one will tell you what they want, but if you have better materials, you can make the rinky-dink base weapons they'll use even better. Select your material, smelt it down, carefully pour it into the mold, and then finish it off appropriately. Swords need to be carefully hammered to create a solid edge, for instance, while bows need to be stretched tight. Don't skimp on the details, since the more accurate you are with building weapons, the stronger those weapons will be.
Oh, and don't worry about getting your hands (hooves?) dirty, since your soldiers fight automatically at the end of the day. All you need to do is move your cursor around to collect the treasure enemies drop, which can be anything from crafting resources to gems. Gems can be spent on more materials in Gander's shop. As the game wears on you'll earn different types of catapult ammunition you can launch during battle with a click to deal damage and help you turn the tide of war.
Though Jacksmith's deviation from the established Papa's magic formula won't be to everyone's taste, it manages to make a familiar concept feel new in some clever ways. The forging is given surprising depth with the many recipes and different parts, and since they actually have bearing on the outcome of battle you feel invested in making them the best you can. The animal people are the stuff of nightmares, but the vibrant design and fast paced gameplay makes this one a lot of fun even if it might not have the same breezy addictive quality of other Papa's games.