Cheap Shot: Jump!

It’s the same dream every time. We’re at the bottom of the ocean, a sunken ship in the background. Aggressively stomping on fish, we climb ever higher. Why can’t we just swim to the surface? This must be a dream.

Ascending higher, the ocean waves give way to fluffy white clouds and pelicans with trampolines on their backs. More balloons. Higher, and we can see toucans and blimps beneath our feet. Then, we misjudge our jump, and fall, tumbling, a fluffy white dog with nothing to do but grab more balloons on the way back down. Are we nuts? What does it all mean?

All dogs go to heaven.

Good luck trying to interpret Jump!’s interesting visuals. With your tilt assistance, a nicely-animated character of your choosing (either a boy, girl, or fluffy dog) jumps on the backs of fish and birds to reach a high score, collecting colorful balloons along the way. While there’s no story or interpretation we can come up with, the dream-like aesthetics are hypnotic, especially if you get in the habit of posting your final score online through Agon.

Jump! is a very simple game, though, and we would like to see a selection of levels in a future update. But even without a lot of challenge beyond beating your high score, Jump! is a simple and elegant vertical platformer that gets the basics just right. We’re still trying to make sense of it all.

Climbing that sashimi stairway.

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