App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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The Time Geeks have returned, although what with the time traveling and all it’s more like they never left, and this time they’re on a mission. Okay, they were on a mission before, too. Or were they technically on a mission after this? I hate time travel!
Though the team might have returned, Jump to Medieval is far from the find-a-thon the original was. Now the Geeks have traveled back to Medieval times (obviously) in order to fend off the nasty Zoorgs, save the Medievals, and help them find the precious orb. It’s not the same kind of “find,” believe me. Rather than searching a scene for specific objects players controls bite-sized task management style games as they attempt to change history. One level may have them swiping along the screen to control archers while at the same time summoning builders to fix busted barricades. Another could task them with constantly directing Medievals in order to train soldiers needed to fight off Zoorgs and get them to safe houses. All within a set time limit.
Jump to Medieval skirts a fine line; it maintains the same basic rules from game to game (Zoorgs bad, rescuing Medievals good) but changes the mechanics and difficulty up enough to keep things from feeling stale. It’s also nowhere near as easy as it might look or sound after the initial few levels are out of the way. Players need to pay constant attention to a number of various elements if they hope to succeed let alone score a five-star rank.
While having such a variety of game types available is generally positive, it does lead to some confusion at times. Getting used to drawing back archers’ arrows only to get tossed into a level that’s all tapping can lead to being thwarted by muscle-memory fairly quickly. Then once the tapping is adjusted to it’s on to some other mechanic. It doesn’t help when the inputs have a tendency to require a couple of do-overs in order to perform the desired action, either.
It’s a little difficult to summarize my feelings about Jump to Medieval. It’s cute, accessible, and has a decent amount of variety. It also tends to be confusing, difficult to control with precision, and feels more like a collection of mini-games than a complete title. It’s certainly not bad and is worth a look from the curious, but it’s also not exactly rocking the foundations of the App Store.