LifeisXbox’s The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom review | Today I’ll be reviewing The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom, a game based on the titular child book series and cartoon adapted by Netflix. In it, we follow Jack Sullivan and his friends on an adventure through their hometown of Wakefied. With a lot of lighthearted humour and comic relief, this game aimed at a slightly younger audience looks like it offers some good co-op fun. The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is developed by Stage Clear Studios and published by Outright Games.
We played The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom for 8 hours on Nintendo Switch. This game is also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
What we liked!
- Gameplay | In The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom you are tasked with saving the world and your friends from utter doom. To do so you’ll have to systematically make your way through the streets of Wakefield, fighting monsters, collecting blueprints, defending your treehouse from waves of zombies, and beating big nasty boss monsters. Often you will just be fighting the zombies in the streets, but sometimes the game locks a bunch of monsters into an arena with you. Most of the time it’s just you and some basic enemy types, but as the game progresses you’ll often find a miniboss in these areas. While you can go out on your own, most of what you do will come to you in the form of a quest. A bit of a shame that all quests are either go grab a thing in town or go kill some monsters in that area. The reward on the other hand is sweet sweet blueprint-y loot.
- Graphics | The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is set in a very colourful and cartoony style that remains faithful to the original style of the books and Netflix adaptation. So much so that it often feels like you’re dropped into one of the episodes. There are not traditionally animated cutscenes to move the story along in The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. Instead the team over at Stage clear chose to move the story along with comic book panels. I feel like this is more fitting given the top-down view you get during gameplay. It also runs very smoothly in both docked and handheld mode, and on the Switch Lite.
- Audio | The soundtracks in The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is very upbeat. It’s a nice orchestral tune with trumpets front and center. It gave me a constant sense of adventure and brought up the urge to push on like I’m some kind of hero. There aren’t an awful lot of tracks, but those that are there didn’t get stale. Just like there’s a hand full of tracks, each kid also has a handful of voiced lines. It’s also nice that all the cutscenes are fully voiced.
- Creature variety | The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom has a surprisingly robust bestiary of zombie types and monsters available. You’ve got your regular brain-loving zombies, sporty zombies that run up to you, Heavyweight tanky zombies, Zombies that spit various projectiles at you and so much more. The Monsters get even more variety yet aren’t there as often as their undead brethren. From worms that sneak up to you, to insect-like critter spawners. You’ve also got various elemental lizard-type enemies that can spit volatile liquids on the floor. But crowning them off are the minibosses. These are hulking brutes with a ton of HP but are really fun to fight.
- Combat | Our team of four are Wakefields leading experts at whooping monster butt. And luckily for them, there’s plenty of that to go around. Well, it’s mostly zombie though. From the last kids on earth, you can pick two melee and two ranged options. Jack wielding his trusty baseball bat sword while Dirk goes to town with a hockey stick. Quint and June both used ranged weapons, where June’s fire faster, but Quint’s are more powerful. Now, this is all pretty standard fare for this type of game. The problem is that it doesn’t go beyond standard fare. Each of our heroes gets one light attack, one heavy attack, a grenade, and the ability to summon a buddy monster to help for a while. It’s good that you get access to these right from the tutorial, but that does mean combat doesn’t really evolve beyond finding and crafting new weapons that may fire slightly differently.
- Big Momma | I’m a bit torn on where to put this element. On the one hand, Big momma is the cool as hell car your party gets to traverse the apocalypse with. It’ll let you speed between the on-foot areas, ploughing zombies out of the way as you got. With ample spawning stations to call her forth, she’s always there when you need to catch a ride. On the other hand, it does trivialize certain areas of the game. You move so fast that the cannons mounted atop the vehicle aren’t of much use. You’re at your destination in about 20 seconds anyways when using her, as some of the Big Momma drivable sections aren’t terribly big.
What we disliked
- I did not dislike anything about The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom.
How long to beat the story | 8 or so hours.
How long to get all achievements | The Nintendo Switch version doesn’t have achievements.
Similar with | Torchlight, Diablo
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.