The first of three games now available on PSN.
Arkedo, a French-based development studio, created a series of games for Xbox Live Indie games, cunningly known as the Arkedo Series. The three games are now making their way over to PSN, thanks to Sanuk Games, with 01-Jump! now being available. Priced at a very reasonable £1.74, is there enough action in this retro title to get excited about?
Do you remember a time when video games involved nothing more than jumping around the screen, collecting stuff and avoiding enemies? Well, be prepared for a glorious high-resolution flashback. Players take on the role of Jumpboy as he leaps from platform to platform, trying to reach all of the bombs on the screen before their timers run out. Once they have all been collected, a door will appear to take you to the next relentless level.
I say relentless because Jump certainly piles on the pressure. As the levels progress, they get harder and harder, introducing such hazards as collapsing platforms, moving platforms, spikes that sit on the floor, waiting for you to mess up a jump, and spikes that fall from the ceiling as you move beneath them. Then you have the obligatory enemies patrolling certain platforms, or flapping around in the air. There are pick-ups available that deal with these enemies, but for the most part the gamer will have to rely on carefully placed jumps to evade being caught.
Because if you get caught, of fall onto spikes, or fail to get the bombs before their timers run out, then you lose a life and have to start the level again. If you lose all of your lives, and here is the kicker, it is game over and start again from the very beginning. Harsh!
But that is all part of the retro charm that will keep you coming back. The game itself isn’t incredibly long, but completing it with your sanity intact will keep you busy for ages.
Playing Jump! is never a chore, thanks in part to the stylish pixel graphics which look just great on the big screen. The controls all operate, in their simplicity, with remarkable precision. A game such as this which requires pinpoint accuracy when leaping from platform to platform, and Jump delivers on every level, removing any chance of blaming failure on the controller.
However, as part of the games charming humour, losing a life will result in short messages designed to uplift and encourage. At one point it even suggested that I blame the controller for a particularly badly timed jump. It is nice when a game offers to take the blame for a players inadequacies.
As a throwback to a simpler, yet more difficult, gaming era, 01-Jump!is a resounding success. The game manages to pack in humour, addictive gameplay and eye-catching visuals into a small and reasonably priced package. I can’t wait for 02-Swap! and 03-Pixel! to complete the collection. Well worth playing.