Why can't a ball catch a cold? ... Because it flu by too quick. ;-)
“Yet another puzzle platformer”, you might say, sigh and scroll. And you’re right: “Super Jumpy Ball” doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It’s one of thousands 2D retro-inspired puzzle games with already-seen levels, already-seen obstacles, and already-seen traps. But is that a bad thing? No. Should it prevent me from doing a review? Hell, no.
I tell you what: If mankind would have never created anything similar to what already exists, there would be no 5th symphony from Beethoven, Heath Ledger would have never played the best Joker ever and the “Simon Personal Computer” would be the only “smartphone”, we could use. Would you prefer living in this parallel universe? I wouldn’t.
Playing a smiley face, that actually changes its facial expression in certain situations, is actually a cute and funny idea and made me smile – literally.
Also, the level design of “Super Jumpy Ball” is really clever, challenging and never gets boring. Even the first levels managed the balancing act between being accessible (for new players) and interesting. There is no tutorial or long-drawn-out settling-in period, which would be absolutely unnecessary anyway since the game is easy to handle and self-explanatory in every aspect.
Yet, there are a couple of things that need to be improved, if “Super Jumpy Ball” wants to catch up with the Champions League of puzzle platformers. First of all, the soundscape is somewhat less than perfect. I actually like the music, but the “plop” sound, if you die is a bit dull and the cheerful crowd, that celebrates your victory, is rather annoying.
Also, the graphics are somewhere in between retro and modern, which is generally never a good idea. Pixelate it and make it look like it’s coming straight from the 8-bit era – or juice it up and make it as glossy, shiny and sexy as possible. Everything in between doesn’t benefit from a retro bonus, it just looks kind of outdated.
Lastly, I would like to talk about the physics of this game. Both the movements of Mr. Jumpy and the low gravity take a little getting used to. His movements are a bit unpredictable, as he sometimes moves like a balloon and sometimes like a bowling ball. I think this needs some additional adjustment to prevent frustrating moments.
All pictures are in-game screenshots.