PapiJump Plus, from Sunflat Entertainment, proves the old adage that sometimes less is more. It’s an incredibly simple game that looks and plays kind of like a college programming project…and yet, we have a feeling that this game will have a permanent spot on our iPhone, right next to much fancier games like Trism and Block Breaker Deluxe 2. That’s because PapiJump Plus is addictive enough to merit its own 12-step program.
Mr. Papi, a smiling magenta bouncy ball, has already starred in his own suite of popular free games, including the original PapiJump, PapiRiver, and PapiPole. Mr. Papi does exactly one thing in each game, and he does it well. In the PapiJump games, his specialty is bouncing from platform to platform, under the control of the accelerometer. The further you get, the more the platforms thin out, making things progressively more difficult for poor old Papi. It’s basically a little minigame with perfectly tuned tilting and bouncing phyics.
In the free PapiJump, you can only bounce your way up the screen, but PapiJump Plus adds seven other variations on the theme. “Hard” mode starts you off at a level where the platforms are few and far between. “Fall” is similar to the normal game, only you can only bounce on each platform once, and there are special power platforms that send you flying. “Touch” subs in touch controls for tilt controls. “Right” changes the bouncing from vertical to left-to-right. In “Move,” the platforms move around randomly. “Down” asks you to make your way down the screen, instead of gaining altitude. “Enemy” adds flying bad guys that bop Papi around, but can also be killed by shooting fireballs. The best variants, for our money, are Fall, Right, and Enemy. Touch, Hard and Down are comparatively worthless. Sunflat should consider cutting out these lesser modes and concentrating its resources on the best ones.
PapiJump Plus also allows you to post your high scores on each mode to an internet board, although you have to move to Safari to use it. This is a nice touch: it’s fun to scroll through some of the completely insane scores Papi fiends have racked up recently. The game really doesn’t have much in the way of graphics or sound, but what little is there has a finished, Flash game-esque appearance.
We are very happy with our 99 cent purchase of PapiJump Plus. Not every iPhone game needs to be epic; there’s also plenty of room for games you can whip out and play for 45 seconds in the supermarket line, and PapiJump Plus fits that particular bill to a T.