When zombies and monsters invade his hometown scrappy 13-year-old Jack Sullivan teams up with his friends to survive the apocalypse. The video game uses the same art style as the Netflix animation and while there are some killing of monsters and zombies, there’s no blood, so this is a rated E for everyone video game.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is basically kid’s first Diablo.
This is a game where you hack and slash your way through different maps, looking for new weapons, armor, treasure chests filled with coins, upgrades for your tree house’s defenses, etc.
Your character controls really well; Jack and most of his friends (well get to the most part later) feel good to fight with.
- Basic light attack on x, which can be held down for continuous attacks.
- Heavy attack with status effects are on A and use a block of stamina.
- Dodge roll on B, also uses stamina.
- Y is for throwing one of your long range items (grenades)
- Left trigger locks on to the nearest enemy when held down
- Right trigger is used to summon a friendly monster.
Now, this is a diablo clone so these abilities vary a bit between the character classes. Each comes with a unique summon, grenade, and heavy attack; and since this is a loot game, weapon blueprints can be found and identified, giving each character multiple options for DPS and heavy attacks.
Melee: Jack is your all-around character, while Dirk is the tank.
Ranged: June with her one-handed guns has the highest speed and agility, and Quint has the highest damage output with his two-handed launchers.
Luckily, you’re not limited to who you pick at the start of the game, as there are easily accessible phonebooths located throughout, which allow you to switch to any character you would like. Characters all share levels, so the only downside to swapping is that you will need to spend your coins on upgrading multiple characters’ weapons, as they are unique to each friend. Armor luckily can be swapped between any character, at any time.
I mentioned most of Jack’s friends control well because I really found the ranged characters to be too tedious to play. Enemies can swarm you so quickly, you get hit way too much, especially since dodging takes a whole section of your stamina away every time you use it. I found myself getting hit and unable to dodge away from incoming damage whenever I played June or Quint.
I stuck with Jack and for the majority of the game, using his starting weapon, a spiked baseball bat, because it swung the fastest. I found many of the other weapons I unlocked for Jack to swing way too slowly – the damage increases not being enough to warrant a seemingly lower, DPS. I finally found it’s replacement four hours into the game.
The gameplay loop is fun enough but starts to get stale after a few hours because you’re not gaining new abilities as in a game such as Diablo 3. Gameplay mix-ups are solely based on what weapon you find and if you decide to swap characters. It got boring for me, especially since I didn’t enjoy playing as anyone other than Jack.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom attempts to break up the monotony of the action with a tower defense game mini-game, but I’ve only encountered two of these sequences in my 4ish hours of playtime. They were also not challenging at all. Most likely because this game is made for children. It has a great feel but is clearly missing depth.
Is The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom a Game PASS or PLAY?
I would call this action RPG a Pass for most gamers.
Unless you have children and you’re looking to play some couch co-op, I think the repetitiveness of the gameplay loop, lack of difficulty, and music (I think one song plays the entire game) keep The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom off my Game Pass play recommendations.
It’s not a bad game, by any means. Throwing on a podcast and mindlessly killing some zombies will leave you with an okay time, but for my time (and money) I’d much rather play Diablo or a Diablo clone with more depth because the hours I’m putting in will continuously unlock new abilities for me to expand the gameplay with. The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is just a 5-6 hour journey and then you’re done.
Outside of Xbox Game Pass, The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is available on PS4, Switch and PC (Amazon affiliate link)- but I strongly recommend not paying the retail $39.99 (or even the current sale price of $19.99).
Let me know if you checked this out on Game Pass.
I recently looked at the Bloodborne PSX Demake and if there are any similar PS1 games from back in the day!