Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5s
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
It’s a shame that as far as we’ve gotten with the tech, touchscreen controls still get the shaft much of the time - often undeservedly so. Ergo, when a developer gets risky and experiments with such brilliant ideas that you can’t help but think of how the game could’ve possibly worked any better on a physical controller to begin with. That’s the kind of game that Jump and Shoot is, and with all the frowns it slapped on my face from its insane difficulty I couldn’t help but smile from time to time with all the fun I had trying to step up to the challenge.
The titular jump-shooter (shoot-jumper?) is situated in the middle of the screen, where the action instantly takes off and leaves you little chance to breathe. Getting flanked from the left and right of your immediate peripherals with aggressively determined mongoloids who seek your quick death through means of physical contact - even if they brush ever so slightly against you.
Lacking any ability to move other than jumping, you can only steer the pixel protagonist by using the recoil of his gunfire to jettison him in the opposite direction, and having a more dramatic effect when done in the air. The control layout is an odd dichotomy of simple and awkward, and strangely enough it’s responsible for half of the eccentric charm experienced with Jump and Shoot’s dynamics. In order to shoot left, you tap on the left of the screen (which propels the hero to the right) tapping to the right will operate the exactly opposite, and tapping in the middle of the screen is the only way to get the little guy to jump up into the air.
It’s this fundamental design that props up Jump and Shoot with its most enticing hook. It demands a parallel of offensive and defensive tactics at all times, with reflexes that would impress Mr. Miyagi. Sounds easy enough once you get the hang of it right? Well the short answer would be no, and that’s what makes the game so addicting: the brutal difficulty it throws at you has a way of making you come back for more.
The AI is engineered with the philosophy of agro or bust, and the numbers of bad dudes and gals can often suffocate you within seconds if you’re not quick on the crowd control. What makes the conflict all the more treacherous are the wily ranks of enemies either hopping up and down at you in a dangerous arch or charging you with a defensive shield.
Let’s get one thing straight: the setup isn’t spectacular, or especially deep by any means. the antiquated pixel aesthetic has not only been done to death but Jump and Shoot doesn’t exactly do anything exceptional with it either. And yet I couldn’t put it down.
Jump and Shoot is a free, gratifying game that anyone can play - and by all accounts it should be played. What are you wait for? Review’s done. Go download it.