Mikey returns with a remarkably well-rounded auto-runner
Price: Free (IAPs)
Size: 47.0 MB
Developer: BeaverTap Games
Platform: iPhone / iPad
One of the App Store’s most exciting game releases in the last few weeks is, surprisingly, an auto-running free-to-play title. It’s the fourth in the ‘Mikey’ franchise and does a great job of combining the platforming and jumping mechanisms from the previous Mikey Shorts, Mikey Boots and Mikey Hooks.
But that’s not where the influence ends – the App Store smash Mr Jump is clearly an inspiration. That game confuddled players with its extreme difficulty – so much so, few managed to even complete its decidedly compact 10 levels before it was named Best of 2015 by Apple. Mikey Boots, while not quite as tricky, is still a hugely tough title for a freemium game. However, though other games might use IAP to encourage users to pay out in order to progress, Mikey Jumps is so well, and intricately designed that you don’t want to use IAP to get extra lives (though many probably will) because the completion of a world is both elusive, but so so close at the same time.
While an auto-running, one-touch game might seem like an easy release for a developer that’s already put this character through a full platforming adventure or two, that would be a misjudgment. Mikey has taken the genre, and shown its contemporaries up big time. This is how it works: there are a mammoth 200 levels across 20 worlds, so don’t take it with a pinch of salt when we say this could take weeks to complete. It starts off easy and in the first level of 10 in each world you can’t lose a life if you fall or get hit by an obstacle, but from there you have to complete each level with just three lives and get to the end of the set of ten, or go back to the start.
Now here’s the most interesting part – every single level is only the length of the iPhone screen. The skill is in timing the jumps, avoiding the obstacles, and controlling rocket jumps and grappling hooks with precise control.
You’ll find yourself repeating a lot of the early levels in each set of 10 a whole bunch of times, while you might only end up playing the later ones once or twice if you’re lucky, but it does feel like you’ve barely known the later levels in a world before you move on. However, the force of addictiveness is strong and it’s incredibly difficult to put the game down until you’ve completed another set of ten.
Elsewhere, the game features a similar design and houses the same characters as previous games, but there’s absolutely no need to be familiar with the franchise before playing. The game is free-to-play and the IAP are hardly intrusive. You can pay $0.99 for three more lives each time, or watch a video to get more lives on just your next go, which we opted not to. Otherwise, the game is funded by pop up ads which crop up every time you lose all your lives. These aren’t video ads though so they’re easily dismissed. You can also use coins collected in the levels to unlock certain items, but it seems most are locked behind real money IAPs so we’ve ended up collecting thousands of coins with little to use them on.
If you’re into your auto-running platform styles games and want something free to pick up and play every now and then, we highly recommend Mikey Jumps – it’ll keep you going for a long while.
- A wonderful challenge
- Loads of levels
- Controls are easy, not overwhelming
- Collecting coins feels a bit pointless...