Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4, iPad 1
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Game Controls Rating:
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Arcade Jumper is a platformer that uses a lot of visual callbacks to retro games, with a semi-endless platformer gameplay design. Players run to the end of a level, jumping and shooting enemies, trying to collect warp coins to activate the exit back at the beginning of the level. No, it doesn't make much sense until the game is actually played. Players try to collect coins and tickets to play minigames, unlock characters, power-ups, and even an extra game mode.
It's nice to play an endless game that's more than just unstoppably running forward, like in many of these games. They're still fun, but Arcade Jumper is a nice change of pace. There are plenty of visual references to classic games, and the very end of each level looks like it starts to glitch out, like an arcade game kill screen. For fans of remote control options, Arcade Jumper is a game to check out. The game, which is a universal app, supports iCade controls, along with Joypad support.
Arcade Jumper gets a lot wrong, structurally. First off, the random level generation makes no accounting for where the platforms are, leading way too often occurrences of where trying to hit a box to collect tickets or point bonuses is a way to a speedy death. It just shrieks "poor design!" The gameplay is just kind of monotonous, as levels don't really change much, just the number of warp coins necessary to advance. As well, dying is so easy, and continues/extra lives so difficult to obtain that seeing the later parts of the game is practically impossible for all but the most dedicated player. As a particular iPad annoyance, the portrait orientation mode is nifty...but not as good as the landscape orientation mode, which is hidden in the extras menu. It doesn't actually correspond to the actual device orientation, which is just particularly annoying if trying to play with screen mirroring.
There's a lot that needs to be worked on in Arcade Jumper. I'm a fan of retro-inspired games; this one just has some issues. I like many of its concepts and use of external controls, but it just needs a lot of work before it can be something really great.