Game

Intensely frustrating but oh so satisfying, Mr Jump is surely one of the hardest games on iOS

Mr Jump has taken the App Store by storm with its no-nonsense brand of super-difficult platforming. At its core a very simple game, Mr Jump mixes familiar gameplay mechanics with an insane difficulty curve to create an addictive game that all can enjoy but few will master.

We at TapSmart HQ have spent a lot of time with Mr Jump, as evidenced by the symphony of frustrated wails and satisfied whoops that has permeated the office recently. We’ve finally managed to finish all 12 levels – which is no mean feat, and have put together a a short montage with highlights of every level. Check it out below for an idea of what’s in store, or read on for the rest of our thoughts on the game.

The gameplay is deceptively simple: Mr Jump runs automatically, all you have to do is tap the screen to hurdle oncoming obstacles and try not to fall into the sea. However, the devil is in the detail, as the length of your tap defines the height of your jump. On the harder levels, tiny nuances – milliseconds, even – can prove the difference between life and death.

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Don’t let the blocky, colorful graphics deceive you – this definitely isn’t a game for little kids

Auto-running platformers are popular right now, with the genre mostly filled by endless runners with no aim other than a new high score. Mr Jump stands out from the crowd by including 12 well-designed levels with actual finish lines, rather than an infinite set of procedurally generated obstacles. That may seem like a trivial distinction, but having a clearly defined goal makes it all the more appealing to try again and again after each failure. It also means that while the game can be tough, it’s also fair – giving you the chance to learn each hazard through repetition.

This game is all about precision and finesse – to pass a level (and unlock the next) requires a perfect run from start to finish. Any marginally mistimed jump and you’re back to the beginning to try again. With no checkpoints this means you’re going to become very familiar with the start of the level, sometimes retrying literally hundreds of times before finally achieving that 100% run and moving on.

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So close! The game over screen is like a great big taunt, willing you to try again for 100%

Although often frustrating, the levels are cleverly thought out and there’s never any doubt that they are at least possible. Mr Jump does a great job of teaching the player tricks by gradually introducing new ideas or mechanics – although it never strays too far from the standard formula. Part of the fun of Mr Jump is figuring out how best to use the various powerups – one of which temporarily turns the level into a Flappy Bird style adventure.

In terms of presentation, Mr Jump’s simplistic graphics and upbeat chiptune songs are pleasantly refined without being overly showy. It’s a clean, distraction-free experience that puts the gameplay first. Each of the 12 levels has a distinct feel to it, with music and color schemes switched up to keep things fresh.

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The diamond powerups provide one extra mid-air jump, allowing the player to pass these spikes if utilized properly

The game’s greatest asset may also be its biggest flaw: the game is unrelenting in its difficulty, which to many is a huge barrier to enjoyment. The 12 levels range from tough to frankly ridiculous, and at the time of writing only around 0.0001% of players have finished them all. That’s less than 1,000 out of a whopping 6 million players (and counting). The developers say more content is on its way, but most people have only seen two or three of the existing levels – are they really going to be clamoring for more already?

Mr Jump will appeal most to stubborn perfectionists with lightning reflexes and too much free time, but everyone can find something to enjoy here – even if it’s just the first level. If nothing else, it’s worth competing with your friends to see who can progress the furthest before giving up and hurling their phone through a nearby window.

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That’s not the date in the top right, it’s the number of times poor old Mr Jump has fallen to his death…

Ultimately Mr Jump is a good solid game – great if you like a challenge – and we have no complaints about the implementation. However, it probably doesn’t have the depth or originality to survive more than a few months as a big App Store hit. In the meantime though, it’s most certainly worth a download – jump on in and see what all the fuss is about!

Oh, and did we mention it’s hard?

Price: Free
Version: 1.0
Size: 24.3 MB
Developer: 1Button

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Review: Mr Jump - infuriatingly addictive platforming
Difficult to a fault, but those willing to persevere will find the challenge deeply satisfying
For
  • Pixel-perfect level design
  • Simple, slick presentation
  • Extremely addictive
Against
  • It's hard
  • Like, seriously hard
  • I'm not kidding
4.0Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)