We here at iFanzine – thanks to the generosity of Davis Ray Sickmon Jr. – were recently able to take a test-drive with an alpha build of Jumpman Forever, and we’re now ready to tell you all about it. Right off the bat, we’re happy to report that – despite the extremely early state of the preview we saw – this updated sequel is certainly on the right track for paying homage to the 1983 classic. We do – however – unfortunately ask you to bear with the lack of accompanying new screenshots, for certain issues with the demonstration software made it very difficult to properly take pictures.
For those who had a Commodore 64 back in the day, every last facet of the challenge you remembered is back once more: the bombs, the security robots, the ropes, the ladders, the jumps, plus some all new stuff. Also returning 100% intact is Jumpman’s ultra oldschool sense of difficulty, with the hero dying in less than a second – if you aren’t careful – being an extremely common occurrence. Although a variety of different gameplay speeds were included, so as to help newcomers find their footing, Jumpman Forever still follows entirely in the original’s footsteps of making you earn every inch of victory.
In fact, the current demonstration was so brutally challenging that we here at iFanzine were only barely able to reach the preview’s third stage a handful of times during our test-drive. Davis Ray Sickmon Jr. has assured us that the final game’s difficulty curve will be far more smooved out than this, with the levels seen in the alpha-build not necessarily being the finished product’s first eight stages. Of course, all of this is without anything being said regarding the stages starring Red – Jumpman’s new lady-friend – as none of her levels were ready at the time when we saw the preview.
The demo is furthermore – visually speaking – looking very good so far, sporting a 100% retro pixelated look that still manages to invoke the feel of the original while being far more detailed. We still have a world of blocky ladders, bombs, ropes, enemies, and more – all still presented in their original neon glory – yet newly included backgrounds make it far more clear this time that players are actually inside a space station. You also still get to watch the remaining bombs rip the station’s internal guts apart upon losing your last life, a forever grim reminder that Jumpman’s mission isn’t just to score lots of points.
While the game is currently far from perfect – as was to be expected of a preview so early – we have full faith that, should Davis Ray Sickmon Jr. continue onwards, this will one day become something absolutely perfect. However – if that day is to ever arrive – then the Kickstarter project for Jumpman Forever, which has so far raised an impressive $17,000, will need to first be successfully funded. An entire three days remain to raise the $3,000 still needed in order for this project to go all the way, so – to all the longtime Jumpman fan out there – now is the eleventh for rallying support behind Mr. Sickmon!