Jumping Joe and Friends from Qubic Games is a arcade platform game with some interesting mechanics and good ideas.
You play as Joe, a cheeky blue square with a baseball cap. Your objective is to climb as high as you can, as quick as you can and avoid hitting the numerous obstacles in your way.
Okay so you only have one level in this game which may sound pretty rubbish but the higher you climb this seemingly endless map is changes and evolves. Taking you from glorious green grassland to deserts and even to snowy mountains. As the environment changes the many traps change from circling bats, spikes and even canons, making how you attack the level evolve with your environment.
You control your character using either your shoulder buttons or triggers, you can only jump left or right and every move you take progresses you higher. You lose by either hitting a trap, jumping the wrong way and falling to your untimely demise or if you don’t keep jumping the ever rising lava chasing you will catch up with you and end your run.
So how do you progress in a game with one level? Every time you climb higher you get your score placed on a leaderboard which brings back the old arcade days when beating that high score felt so good. Collecting the many diamonds in scattered randomly through the level is how you gain currency and you can use these to unlock or upgrade characters and modes. Game modes can also be unlocked by completing challenges in arcade mode adding an element or much needed replayability in such a bare-bones game.
Along with the frustratingly enjoyable twitch gameplay one of the coolest things in the game are the many power-ups you can collect on the way. From extra lives, bombs and even a rocket boost to help you gain momentum and fast progression. The most important item to pick up on your journey is the Roll Coin which upon death gives you a random reward which range from extra diamonds, power-ups and even the chance to continue and carry on from where you died. The characters you unlock with your diamonds all have unique abilities and perks taken from the many power-ups you encounter in the game.
Jumping Joe boasts a two to four player competitive mode with instant access to thirty two unique characters. You can set your own time limits, difficulty, number of rounds to win and even how many lives you have in multiplayer and this is the mode where the game shines. Multiplayer is bundles of fun with your kids or friends and will be the main reason for you to keep coming back. You can also unlock Race Mode and Hero Mode for a tougher challenge.
As you can see the art style is very nice and vibrant and the music even though a continual loop is reminiscent of the NES and Master System games I played as a kid.
Longevity is where the game struggles as after a few hours play there’s nothing really to keep you playing. The two unlockable game modes do not really add much to the experience and take forever to unlock with no real sense of reward and there is no real reason to unlock the other characters as you will mainly play this in multiplayer where all of the characters are already unlocked. The problem I had during my time with Jumping Joe And Friends is that other than the multiplayer mode it felt like a free to play mobile phone game, which is a real shame as the game does show promise.
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- Overall - 6.0/106/10
Jumping Joe And Friends is a fun and frantic platformer with some great ideas and characters.
Unfortunately the game feels like a free to play mobile game with a £4.99 price tag but does have a great multiplayer mode being the only thing worth coming back to after a few hours of play.