I was not really sure what to expect when getting a code for a game named Jumping Joe & Friends. Just judging by the shape, my memories were awakened by a game I reviewed some time ago. Not being a big fan of mobile games and gathering more information about it, I got the impression we have something that would be perfect on the go. And somehow, I was not wrong about it.
So, I went to find out who Joe and his friends were and took a closer look. I have got to say, it changed my first impression pretty quickly. Do you want to know more? Well, you know what to do! Keep reading and have fun with my review for Jumping Joe & Friends!
I will certainly not make you hot for something that is not there. Jumping Joe & Friends does not have any story. You are just a blue square-shaped guy with a bunch of crazy friends trying to reach the highest point you can get to. How you do that? You hop from one platform to another until your reflexes eventually betray you! Do not worry. Colliding once with an obstacle or just accidentally jumping in the wrong direction will happen a lot. But nonetheless, it is addicting.
This title from QubicGames and Vixa Games is a classic arcade platformer. The classic Arcade Mode is your single player. Like mentioned before, your goal is to jump as high as possible and try to break your previous record, set only by yourself.
The design of the whole level is simple. You start on the ground and hop your way up various platforms. When the player reaches higher grounds, the background changes. For example, you hop onto clouds if you reach a certain point. The 2D environment changes around you and is randomly generated.
Those floating pieces that serve as a way to get higher up honestly aren’t really unfair. What do I mean by that? Have you ever had a game that forced you to make your hero commit suicide? I bet everyone raises their hands here. Being afraid of that and having it constantly dominating my brain, I can thankfully state that this happened to me only once. I took a wrong turn, hopped into spikes on a platform and the one above me did not offer to clear way up. Right there was a wall, so… Bye bye, Mad Bird (the character I was playing with at that time)! See you in the next round and sorry for making a mistake here!
To avoid that while hopping around will not be like a Sunday walk with your grandparents. The developer built in some troublemakers for you. For example, you can encounter bats, funny-looking dragons and spikes on platforms. Do not take your sweet time to wait and plan your path, though. Lava is slowly rising from the ground after you made your move and will slowly force you to keep moving. But honestly, it was never a real threat since it will not come up that quick. You are allowed to make one mistake that results in you in losing your cap or whatever your character thinks is the latest fashion.
On your adventure, you will collect gemstones and golden rings. The gemstones help you unlock characters and modes (if you cannot make the goal, but more on that further in the review). The collected rings are some sort of a lottery ticket at the end of a stage. You push a button to get a prize. Those prizes are, for example, a second cap which gives you another chance or, rarely, a continue to start over immediately after you fell into the abyss or collided with an enemy/obstacle. You also can gain gemstones here.
Jump around in different ways!
The controls of Jumping Joe & Friends are really easy. You actually have some options to navigate your little character. You can either use buttons (left or right or A and B) or the shoulder buttons L and R or ZL and ZR. I tried all of them and as a classic retro lover, I fell into the patterns of the good old buttons to move around. Each character you can unlock and play with have different abilities that make your journey easier. Some of them give you a starting boost, others destroy things in a rampage and some others are after some extra gems for you to spend.
Jump around in different modes, too!
The word “friends” is not only in the title. You actually have a multiplayer mode here. The game supports a local co-op mode with up to four players. While you play in multiplayer mode, you get a split screen that reminds you of a very famous game with shapes… Is that why Joe is a shape? Nevermind.
You also got a Race Mode and a Hero Mode. The Race Mode does not really need an explanation, right? The Hero “only” hands you more obstacles to overcome. For example, instead of having two bats circling around a platform, you will have six or more. It is basically Hardcore Mode. Those two varieties can be unlocked with gemstones or upon reaching a particular goal. For race mode, you have to get a score of 300 in 60 seconds. After being stuck on 65.12 seconds, I was happy when I finally broke that band on the finish line!
*This review was written by Jennifer for switchwatch.co.uk.
Here we go again. I know tend to ramble a lot about this, but the music was not my cup of tea. We have a really catchy tune here which complements the cheerful looks of this game perfectly, but it has a variety that only kids can endure from starting the game to the end without actually losing interest.
The sound effects suit the situation perfectly, though. The sound it makes when you get a gemstone… I wished I would have this sound in real life every time I found a coin on the street.
Visuals & Performance
Jumping Joe is very colourful, and so are his friends. The environment he is in is like the content of a watercolour palette. Colourful, bright and cheerful. The simple 2D design is enough for that sort of game and was cute to look at. Nothing too exciting going on here with shapes and squares, but it did the job. You always know what you have in front of you. Except for good old Joe. Is he supposed to be a boy or…? Let’s leave this as artists creativity. Not a bad character design, though. They are fun to look at, especially Mad Bird. He is one of my favourites with his dorky facial expressions.
The game hands you one loading time at the beginning of the game, but then that is it. Never had any soft locks or other problems.
$4.99 USD or £4.49 GPB is what you pay for this. With the competition on the smartphone market, I cannot recommend you get this. Jumping Joe (without friends, apparently) is available for smartphones for free. And so is (sorry, you probably heard this comparison from other reviews) now Doodle Jump. The game offers you a good amount of content… If you do not get bored after a few rounds. It can be a good party game, but it will not tie you in front of your console as long as a Mario Kart game would.
*A review copy of Jumping Joe & Friends was provided to Switchwatch by QubicGames.
Gameplay highly responsive and fun
Dorky and funny characters
Fun won't last too long
Audio gets repetitive
Mobile version is for free