Jump King Review

It really doesn’t get much simpler than Jump King. Starting out at in the forest at the base of a tower, we need to jump up ever higher in the hopes of rescuing a “smoking hot babe” at the top. That’s it. Sometimes, the simpler ideas are the ones that work the best – sadly, Jump King is in the vein of titles that set out to frustrate and annoy for the games own amusement. A quick Google shows the plethora of YouTuber’s that have typical titles like “I HATE THIS GAME” or ‘Watch as I RAGE QUIT AGAIN LOLOLLOL’.

Of course, in order to get such click bait-y titles, there must be something to it. Jumping in this “Tactical Leaping Adventure” is the only thing to do, but it is not as easy as that sounds. Holding A charges up our leap and depending on how long the button is held, we either do a small hop or massive jump. There’s no indicator to this though, so it’s all about muscle memory, judgement, and a great deal of luck. We can jump straight up, but this is really only useful for scouting the next screen (each is a static placement of ledges). Holding left or right sends us in that direction, and while we can move our hero while on the ground to line up jumps, once in the air it’s all out of our hands.

I would usually say that it starts out easy enough, but that’s not the case here. Even after a solid 40 minutes I was still pretty much where I started. Not for lack of progress either, but rather a succession of failures that saw the knight plummeting back down one botched jump at a time. You see, when jumping, if we hit a wall then our knight bounces off of it while continuing his momentum; it’s perfectly possible (and frequently so too) to hit one ledge wrong and fall down a couple of screens in one swoop. Some areas actively encourage this technique, bouncing off walls to get up otherwise impossible jumps but it can – and will – just as easily come back to bite you in the ass.

Jump King never seems to let up either; after finally clearing the opening area, we’re presented with a sewer system that can easily take us from top to bottom with just one wrong move. Frustrating, and quite simply not all that fun. There are birds dotted around that I initially thought were checkpoints, but alas, this is not the case. There may be some saving graces further up, but to be honest I’d lost any drive to find out after my hundredth multiple screen fall yet again after misjudging a jump. The game tracks time spent playing, as well as how many jumps, falls and attempts we have – all numbers that seem to go up much faster than we realise.

For very brief spells I will say that I was almost having fun, as I was starting to get into the rhythm of things. But these moments never lasted long, and soon I was shutting the game off in favour of one of the billion other titles I have sitting un-played on my hard drive.

Conclusion

If you fancy torturing yourself or some friends (or are a wacky YouTuber!!11!LOL) with this hard as nails, repetitive jumping game then you may get something out of Jump King. But for those of us just looking for a fun platforming challenge, there are countless better games out there fit for the task.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • Nice art style
  • Simple to pick up...
Bad
  • ...and put back down
  • Frustrating challenge
  • Not much to it at all
4.3
Poor
Gameplay - 4
Graphics - 5
Audio - 4
Longevity - 4
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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