Odds are that you’ve probably heard of Flappy Bird by now, the ultra simplistic game — created entirely in Vietnam — that quickly rocked the mobile gaming scene like no other. Despite the super limited game play — where you truly did nothing more than tap the screen to jump — and a difficulty that was soul crushingly hard, the game’s creator eventually removed the app when he began fearing that people were becoming addicted. Naturally many hopeful imitators have shown up to try and claim the now abandoned throne left behind in the wake of Flappy Bird’s absence, which finally brings us to today’s review of Gregory Parton’s Jumpy Jester (out now, free).
Life isn’t particularly easy for a circus clown just trying to do his best tightrope performance, and they only get far worse when your manager inadvertently schedules a bunch of animals to simultaneously walk the tightrope at the exact time as your show. However — as the old adage goes — the show must go on, and therefore it’s up to you to deftly leap over each and every monkey — lion — and bear that dares to threaten the integrity of your performance. Miracle Worker — unfortunately — never exactly was your middle name, even so – despite your date with the floor being an all but guaranteed certainty — you can still do your best to see just how long you can keep the show going!
In order leap over the never ending animal onslaught you must both touch and then — even more importantly — release the screen afterwards, which is a bit odd since most of apps of this sort would let your character jump the exact moment you touched your screen. Although jumping over errant circus animals might seem simple at first, in particular when you’re only being faced with the diminutive monkeys, things will quickly ramp up when the long lions — or, worse yet, the tall bears — begin to start charging straight for you. In particular, the precision timing needed to successfully avoid the tall bears — whose height will often cause them to catch your jester on his way back down — will ensure that most players will have a very hard time scoring over ten points without great practice.
Your only respite from this endless toil — other than the grim reaper himself — are the magical golden bananas that will occasionally float by, each of which can temporarily render you invincible if grabbed. However — outside of the few enemies that a random golden banana will, if successfully grabbed, enable you to plow through — there is otherwise nothing helping the player to survive, save for pure unadulterated skill. Therefore Jumpy Jester is one game where climbing — tooth and nail — to the top of the leader board list will certainly have to mean something, assuming that precautions are first taken to halt submissions from players utilizing cracked devices.
Thankfully, there doesn’t exist any IAP options in Jumpy Jester either — with the app’s soul monetization method instead being an advertisement at the screen’s bottom — ensuring that anyone whom does reach the top didn’t do so via buying their success. Furthermore, this placed ad at the bottom of Jumpy Jester’s screen — unlike the one problematic ad featured in PigeonMan (our review) — is extremely easy to avoid activating by accident. This combination of free game play — mixed with both unobtrusive ads, as well as a complete lack of anything that needs to be acquired via IAPs — does make Jumpy Jester an attractive option for budget gamers seeking whole packages.
There is — however — still the fact that Jumpy Jester is exceedingly simplistic, meaning that it will ultimately be of little lasting appeal to anyone whom wasn’t already an ardent fan of games such as Flappy Bird.
For those looking for something to replace the void left in their heart by Flappy Bird’s removal from the iTunes Marketplace, Jumpy Jester — and his circus faring antics — certainly seems to be a worthy competitor. However — for everyone else — this game doesn’t bring much of anything new to the table, and would probably quickly be forgotten by almost anyone whom demands a more in depth experience. Either way — due to the Jumpy Jester’s absolutely free price tag, coupled with a complete lack of IAPs — it certainly would hurt to give the app a look all the same, especially if you should still find yourself undecided on the matter.