Game Review: Mr. Jump (Mobile)

These days it’s difficult to keep up with all of the mobile game apps available, and with many laced with similar concepts, it’s rare to find a game that can keep your interest, This is especially true for that of “free” games….these ones are not usually worth the disk space they take up to download.

Mr. Jump, a minimal one tap style platform from developer 1Button SARL, presents you with a game that forces you to rely on absolute skill in quick reflexes and strategy while forcing you to accept utter defeat in a matter of seconds. Designed in a basic pixel world that gives the simulated feel of various environments, it causes the player to invest their imagination into defining the specifics of the level they are playing (is that lava or brick?).

The absolute goal is to get Mr. Jump, a pixel shaped guy, to the end of the level without dying. To do this, you simply tap the screen to make him jump, whether it be over an obstacle or onto an out of reach platform to further advance him in the level. Depending on how firmly you tap the screen will determine how high Mr. Jump will jump in game.

The tricky part is that the game is a self-scroll that moves Mr. Jump on its own at a quick pace and so you need to think on the go otherwise the screen will catch up to you….and game over.

But that’s not all that can stop Mr. Jump. Each level contains various pitfalls…. including lava, spikes, pits and various other obstacles, and each new level adds another type of game mechanic or item to increase the difficulty of gameplay. The worst obstacle for Mr. Jump though is the player themselves, as one mis-tap can mean the end of the run.

Most levels will take you less than a minute to run through successfully, so it’s highly tempting to keep trying to finish a level, no matter how frustrating it gets and how much your tapping finger aches.

And the “cherry on top” is that this game has no checkpoint or save feature to it…so you can be stuck making that same jump over and over again as you struggle to pass the level for what feels like the millionth time.

Every time your game ends, you have the opportunity to return to the main menu, replay the level, or post progress to social media. The game give you a friendly interface of how much percentage of the level you completed, number of jumps you made and what attempt number you are on. It makes you wonder if it’s designed to both encourage you after failure and also taunt you to try again and see if you can one up yourself. Because you know in the back of your mind you are thinking….how hard can this level really be???

So then if this game is so difficult and simplistic in design, then why would anyone want to download it?? Basically, because if you are going to take the time to play it, you are a competitive or completion type of gamer. This type of game is mentally challenging and thus makes you not want to stop playing…. not until you finally get past the one part that you keep failing at….and complete the level. Or maybe you need to walk away for a little while to strategize…but it won’t be long before you come back to it. Perhaps the idea of sitting for several hours straight to complete many levels is not ideal, but one level every once in awhile is not a questionable method to tackle the game.

Though Mr. Jump seems to fall under similar categories as other endless platformers  (Flappy Bird or Super Meat Boy ring any bells?), the game is actually not impossible to complete, just very unlikely unless you play it with endless effort and dedication. For example, I played a level for an hour straight (204 attempts) and when I finally passed it…it seemed like I had completed Remove featured imagean amazing feat. I was looking for some kind of achievement bubble to pop up in front of me….or for confetti to fall from the sky. But alas…all that stood ahead of me was another level with a increase in difficulty.

The difficulty of this game I can agree  is beyond ridiculous. The sole mechanic to concentrate on your jumping and to keep your entire focus on the screen, so it’s definitely not one to play if you got other distractions around to catch your attention. It evokes the feel of the old school platformers, such as Super Mario Bros, where you basically held your breath with every death defying jump you make hoping to make it without taking critical damage.

I recommend downloading it and giving it a try for yourself. You may find it more addicting than the surface shows. And besides, a free game once in awhile has never hurt.

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