Before the iPhone revolutionized mobile gaming, the big trend was “one-button” cellphone games that were timing based and often extremely simple. Digital Chocolate figured out how to make the most of this formula with titles like Crazy Penguin Catapult and Kamikaze Robots, which were ported onto the iPhone but retained their simple control schemes. Now Glu is making a try at it, shifting away from tilt control and back to one-button gameplay with Jump O’Clock.
In Jump O’Clock, you control a tiny robot named Leo whose goal is to scale the inside of a giant clock. You can jump off the walls and latch onto spinning gears, letting go at just the right moment to climb a few feet higher. Eventually you’ll run into broken sections of the wall that burn you, bursts of hot steam that will make you lose your grip, and spikes and electrified gears that can trip you up and make you fall.
The gameplay is incredibly simple, but Jump O’Clock can give you that “one more try” feeling that tends to compensate for a lack of depth. OpenFeint leaderboards are a great addition (a first for a Glu game) and there are also interesting challenges you can take on if you tire of the basic main game.
We always like to see games using a steampunk aesthetic– it’s more interesting than just another vertical platformer where you jump up into space. For a buck, Jump O’Clock is one of many high-score games that will help you tap away the boredom for a few minutes at a time, but don’t expect it to offer anything deeper or more exciting than that.