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Super Nano Jumpers – a frenetic retro platformer

Unique game mechanics feeds this frenetic retro platformer

Price: $1.99 / £1.99
Version: 1.0
Size: 99.7 MB
Developer: Xigma Games
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Download Super Nano Jumpers
Despite its buzzy title, Super Nano Jumpers is a much better title than you’d expect. See, and many old-school gamers will tell you this, the launch of the App Store and its cheap, quick-fire games has seen an overall drop in difficulty. In many ways, this game rallies against such frivolity. There’s no denying, Super Nano Jumpers is super hard. But it’s also surprisingly accessible.

Getting all the coins in each level is one of the tricksiest challenges

The game sees you control a little dude who just loves to jump. What does he love more? Running. In many ways this is an auto-runner, but with one key difference: you can stop him running, simply by tapping the screen. The other side of the screen is for making him jump. This stop start approach takes some getting used to, but the game eases you in before things get hard.

The obstacles can ramp up until there’s multiple sources of harm in each stage

Although in many ways, it never gets too difficult. Completing a level just requires a bit of practice, a bit of avoidance of obstacles – including swinging scythes, tropey spikes, and little purple monsters – but to get a hallowed three star rating on each level? That’s where the real challenge lies.

Each of the four worlds has a different color scheme… but beyond that, little changes

This, in part, is why Super Nano Jumpers is a decent game. Anyone can play, and there’s challenges for every level. What makes it a decent game and not a great game, is that it never really gets hugely exciting. There’s coins to collect, sure, but each stage of each level is short, and the stop-start nature of it prevents you from ever really getting into the swing of things.

With 80 levels across four stages, there’s a nice variety of obstacles, but really, the little guy’s approach remains the same, and while it’s nice to pick up and play, any long gaming sessions can get a little tedious. In fact, the joy of completing a challenge aside, we didn’t really feel particularly inclined to replay these fairly standard levels just to gain that third star.

That’s just downright dangerous

In terms of game design, its approach is intriguing – it’s fully Game Boy Color – but while retro gamers embellish the giant pixels with atypical striking colors, and uncharacteristically smooth frames, Super Nano Jumpers is almost throwback to a fault. While we had fun playing this game, it lacks a certain charm that retro platformers usually embody in spades.