ST Format Review
For this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. The crack disk of choice today was going to be Automation 239 but it decided not to work. In the end I went with SuperGAU 325 which has proven more helpful. It’s not got the most exciting intro but at least it works.
Launching the game we get the Infogrames armadillo dropping into view and bouncing into position – remarkably smooth for such a massive sprite. The we get the game screen proper with a fantastic sampled rock track in the background. Ok the audio quality isn’t amazing but the music has attitude and is pretty solidly put together.
Pressing fire takes us into the menu (after a bit of loading). We’re treated to the sampled music here too. Visually it’s an absolute treat, it looks gorgeous. Using the joystick you then select an option, in this case the start option.
So what’s the game about? It’s a tile colour puzzle game at heart, where stepping on the coloured tiles changes their colour, with your objective being to get them all the same colour to collect a record. The record must be put in a record player of the appropriate colour. Each record gets you one part of the sampled song so one might get you the beat, another might get you the bass, another the guitar, and so on. However, classical instruments are trying to stop you. You have to avoid them, or die. The sprawling levels contain various power-ups from a leather jacket to shades to help you in your quest to be a bad-ass motherfucker and kick the shit out of some classical music, while burgers and coke bottle appear which only boost your score. Other upgrades include getting an extra slot on your jukebox so you can carry more records.
Everything happens to a beat, making it almost turn-based in some ways. In traditional puzzle game fashion, the levels introduce new mechanics one at a time, becoming steadily more complex, but rarely overwhelming. I mentioned JJS in my review of Bomb Uzal because they do have a lot in common, not least a lot of charm, though JJS probably wins there, helped by characters who are animated exquisitely and drawn with a wonderful cartoon style.
Every now and then you’ll get a ‘challenge’ level with a time limit. This might be to visit every square. The reward is a password for the level you’re on.
Level 5 is particularly unfair as the teleports give you very limited transport options and often leave you stuck in a corner vs an evil instrument with no means to escape.
Hopefully you can see from all these screenshots that it’s an absolutely gorgeous game, a real visual treat. What you won’t see is how insanely smoothly it runs, and how awesome the music is, seeming frankly out of place on the ST on all counts. It’s top-notch stuff, clearly a developer showing off his skills and all power to him when the gameplay is so good too. I highly recommend Jumping Jackson.