With more and more women getting into video games, we’re seeing a rise in debates about female exclusion and objectification in games that are supposed to be for everyone. These debates are necessary, but they can also be emotionally taxing. Thank goodness Unblock Jennifer is on the App Store to give us a laugh. The game attempts to woo players to its mediocre puzzle mechanics with a busty, ‘naughty’ woman, and the attempt falls flatter than a pancake.
Jennifer is a policewoman with a problem: her police cruiser has been blockaded in a parking lot thanks to dozens of inconsiderate motorists. Jennifer also has troubles with ill-fitting uniforms that won’t zip up all the way, not to mention that her ‘POLICE’ emblem mysteriously reads ‘ECILOP’ when she looks to the right. You’re only here to help her out with the car thing, though, so get on that.
Every level begins with Jennifer boxed in by several cars and trucks. You simply slide vehicles around until her cruiser has a clear path to the exit. If you’re in the mood to slice through the knot, you can utilize bombs to blow up the cars that obstruct you (‘That’s what happens when you park in a fire zone, jackass’). You start the game with a limited number of bombs, but you can buy more via an in-app purchase.
Show me your moves.
Every so often, your success is rewarded with a new costume for Jennifer, including a nurse’s outfit, a cheerleader’s uniform, some kind of tight leather getup, and more. If you want to see Jennifer in her new duds, you need to watch the title screen for a slide show.
The core concept behind Unblock Jennifer is basic and pretty boring after a few levels: there are about twenty billion games on the app store that task you with correcting morons that can’t park. Obviously, Unblock Jennifer wants you to stick around for the titular (tee hee hee) Jennifer. So let’s ask ourselves, ‘Is there any reason to hang around the game long enough to get to know this doe-eyed policewoman?’
Sorry to break your heart, but the answer is ‘No.’ Video game erotica has been around since the advent of the video game (which says something about humankind’s obsession with the act that makes more humans), but Unblock Jennifer is not erotic. Jennifer never shows off anything that’s underneath her gaudy uniforms (she can’t, if she wants to remain on the App Store), so all her attempts at seducing you are relegated to badly-spelled come-ons and compliments. If Unblock Jennifer is good for anything, it’s a cheap self-esteem boost, because this gal would call you her ‘hero’ for passing gas.
“If I miss Game of Thrones, you’re all getting tickets.”
Worse, Jennifer’s artwork is incredibly lazy. Her pose never changes, except to flip sides–and, as mentioned earlier, any text that’s on her uniform is flipped along with her.
There’s nothing wrong with designing a tasteful cheesecake game, and nudity is not necessary to present a character as desirable. But Unblock Jennifer is half-assed in every regard: little care was put into its gameplay, and less into Jennifer herself. It’s a cash-in that steps beyond ‘obvious’ and into ’embarrassing.’
Also, if you have the audacity to turn the game off for five seconds, Jennifer will spam you with push notifications (and you’re never asked if you want to turn them on). Save yourself the pain and just Block Jennifer from your smartphone.