Jumpman is a platform game that takes retro game mechanics and expands them in unique and mind-bending ways.
from 32 ratings
Date of Release:
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2 of 3 people found
this review helpful.
jumpan is mensa: the videogame.
as a critic (not a player), you’ll hate the physics. ‘why is movement so slippery?’, you may ask, or ‘why does JUMPING feel so odd?’*. while playing, you might curse every time you get stuck, wondering why the game seems to hate you. if you finish it, you will probably be ashamed for ever doubting it’s affection. jumpman really does love you.
jumpan is, objectively, pretty easy. videogames are often hard because the impediments to your progress are arbitrary. jumpman doesn’t ever require memorization or hair-trigger reflexes, just some thinking. every once in a while, if you’ve thought your way through correctly for a stretch, it’ll give you a breezy level that’s nothing more than a playground. ‘have some fun!’, the level designer says to you nervously, lest you forget you are merely playing a videogame.
if you’re going to sit down and play something, play jumpman, and don’t stop until you’re done. it will leave you satisfied. there’s a level editor and some other stuff, but once you’ve finished the game proper, that probably won’t matter much. jumpan is beautiful and brilliant.
*answer: this ain’t no smb3, it’s maybe something better.
Because Jumpman brings the platformer back to life in a beautiful way and then hammers a few more nails into the coffin. Despite the familiarity, Andrew McClure has created a game to which all platformers following should be compared. Jumpman not only feels like something new, but it raises the bar for inventiveness so high that you will be left wondering what more can be done with the genre. If you are a game designer, it’s a damn tough act to follow, and every bit as important as a study of the genre as Super Mario Galaxy. If you’re not a game designer, this is a crazy inventive and mind-bending game which may just make you feel like a kid again, in a good way.
Many of the best independent games have deconstructed familiar genres in order to build them up again into something entirely (or at least mostly) new. Although VVVVVV and Braid do this by completely stripping off basic mechanics, the ability to jump (VVVVVV) or the threat of death (Braid). Jumpman is a fresh experience, even with all of the standard platformer mechanics present. Much of this freshness is due to a blatant disregard for the conventional platformer feel. A game designer’s inner voice begs “Tighten these controls down. Make this level easier. Hard does not equal fun,” but Andrew McClure does a rare and wonderful thing in Jumpman, he shuts up and actually listens to the game.
So yes, the game plays like you are on ice, and yes, it’s certainly not a cakewalk, but it’s these seemingly frustrating aspects of the game that make it truly special and beautiful. If Katamari Damacy didn’t control like a forklift, do you think it would have been so successful? So I beg of you, don’t give up when you die for the 50th time on a level. Persevere.
I will warn you, Jumpman is deceptively long. Several times, you will think, “I thought it would end here.” So, please have the time to play all the way through to the end. I guarantee the final stages of this game will stay with you forever.
1 of 2 people found
this review helpful.
The perfection is in the idea for it, the level design, and all the innovations it brings to the platformer genre. Anyone designing a platformer should play through this game, it’s as important to play through as Super Mario Bros. 3 is.
The first flaw though is the slipperiness of the movement. Pressing left or right adds or subtracts to your current acceleration, which makes it feel like you’re constantly on ice, and can’t break. Even more oddly, you can increase or decrease this acceleration while in the air. The levels are built with this type of control in mind, which means it’s not even something that can be fixed with a tweak or patch.
Second flaw is the difficulty: not everyone has the patience to try a game over and over, and there will be levels that baffle you and keep you from progressing unless you have almost superhuman patience. I’d have preferred some mechanism whereby you only had to finish a fraction of the levels in a particular “path” or world in order to progress, or a mechanism where you could just skip particularly troubling levels entirely. That’d allow people more opportunity to see the best parts of the game, which largely happen near the end. Instead, a significant number of people will give up before they get to the good parts, which is a shame.