Every game that you play contains a certain appeal factor that draws you into its fold. Sometimes, it’s the storyline that captures your attention. At other times, its the challenges, the soundtrack, the fun factor, or the powerfully attractive characters that speak to you. Jumping Jupingo has a little bit of all these elements and one look at this video teaser will make you want to hit that Download button. But does this baby spider rescue mission really offer enough entertainment for its expensive price tag?
Them Buggy Aliens!
One eyed alien bugs, the Clopters, living in a far off planet have a problem. Their irresponsible behavior has resulted in a drastic climatic change. Big boulder sized hailstorms are making life on their planet inhospitable. The Clopters come up with a grand idea to deflect the hailstorms by building sturdy umbrellas; umbrellas that can only be built with the spinning silk webs of the baby Jupingo spiders found on planet earth. They set upon a plan to abduct the spiders but their mission backfires when the babies get scattered all over the planet. You take on the role of the heroic Jumping Jupingo (JJ) and bounce your way around forests, swamps and caves to recapture the babies and toss them over to a character called Flash the Snail who will ferry them away to safety.
You’d think that being a jumping game and all, JJ would be an exceptional jumper. Alas, jumping ain’t one of his crowning glories! Or maybe its just me, but despite a trajectory path that gives you a fair idea of how far he can jump and where he will eventually land when you make a move, getting him to hit the right spots every time is a tough task. Help comes in the form of silken webs that can be spun (dragged across the screen) and used as a propeller to bounce away to higher ground. There are also plenty of clip art tips that show you how to hone your jumping skills, but you’ll take a while to get the hang of it…or not!
Woods are Lovely Dark and Deep
The first 10 levels of the game are played out in a forest, the next in swamps and the last ones in caves. Publishers Made with Marmalade have done a grand job with the game environment making it interactive and alive. You can hear the faint yet realistic chirps, buzz and whistles of the insects in the background, the rattling sounds of the poisonous plants adding to the eerie effects of the dense jungles. Every now and then, you’ll even see an alien bug flying across the screen carrying a baby spider in its arms, heading off to its alien spacecraft. A truly beautiful setting for the game indeed!
Grab Some Spideys and Some Top Scores Too!
Each of the 30 levels in JJ has one objective. To rescue the babies and score the maximum points. Points can be earned by meeting the challenges thrown at you at the start of the game, by conserving energy and thread; eliminating bugs, and avoiding pain, but achieving them is a lot of hard work. For instance, it’s a piece of cake to grab berries but its much harder when you have to spin less than 12 threads to get the job done.
The interesting element about the game strategy is that there isn’t a pre-defined playing pattern. Every time you open up a game, you can follow a different strategy and achieve a different result or score. In every game, you have a certain number of lives and each time you hit one of the danger elements you lose a life. Similarly, if you keep bouncing around for too long, you’ll just run out of jump power. But games, as in life, offers you lifelines… in the form of bugs. Catch a glowing orange bug and you win back some lost lives, or some green ones for extra jump energy and blue too for web-spinning power.
The Music and the Misery!
JJ’s biggest credits must go to its creative art and design team who, with their mind-blowing attention to detail have developed the most visually stunning scenery you can find in a game. The animation effects are excellent bringing out the diversity, complexity and liveliness of the plant and animal life in their environments. The game’s soundtrack is dearly missed within the game, but is amply compensated by the thrilling background effects. Another pat on the back,for you guys!
The place where JJ truly misses out from being top of its class is in its gameplay. You have to be amazingly good with angles to complete a game successfully. And if you’re aiming for the top scores, your attention will be have to be completely rooted to the action. And that takes away some of its fun element. So yes… don’t babysit the little one while you’re playing JJ!
Also, as you continue to play the game, you want to do something more, maybe have more variety in rescue missions or fresh power ups and surprise elements to keep the engagement levels high. After playing about 10 levels, I was still grooving to the breezy soundtrack at the start of the game, and hoping there would be something more than what I’d already seen before. JJ just doesn’t quite deliver in that aspect.
Overall, I’d say that Jumping Jupingo is a good game to test your acrobatic and strategic skills and a little bit of your patience. It’s a game that easy to play, but hard to conquer. For $2.99 I wish it could deliver a big dose of fun and humor as well, just to make it a more complete package.