Apr 25, 2013
Jones on Fire is a fun little runner that will probably have folks doing a double take due to the unique look of the playing characters.
It looked very, uh, Lego-ey. And somehow, that wasn’t even the best part.
Folks like me who grew up as fans of the iconic
children’s building blocks, or have played console games based on their form (like Stars Wars or Batman) will understand. The simplistic block figures were endearing, and I thought they blended well with the unique background. The sharp colors added to the overall experience, with walls of fire retaining a menacing look even while contrasting with localized burns on the ground. I liked the little graphical things, like the look of the game store, decked out with green text and fireman’s pole. The entire atmosphere was almost as enjoyable as the game action itself.
Jones on Fire tells the story of the heroic Emma Jones, a firefighter who risks life and limb to save feline creatures. My job (via Jones) in this left-to-right sideways scroller was to find as many cats as possible and guide them to safety, avoiding spot fires, changing terrain, felled trees and the mammoth wall flame bearing down on me from behind. One trip, a mistimed jump or too early of a slide could cause the fire wall to engulf me and my cute cats. I was always running forward by default, and had to get myself and the cats to the firehouse.
The controls clearly were created with the same eye for simplicity that seemed to be reflected in the game as a whole. Two touches… that was it. A tap on the left made me jump; a tap on the right made me slide with momentum. This way, I could avoid fires, jump to touch-collect cats in the air, and slide under logs for cats cowering there. I could also jump up get power-ups.
There were plenty of power-ups to be had, paid for with the points I got from completing runs. The game got harder and more complex as it went to higher hazard levels.
It was one of the more engaging games I have played, and should be fun across generations.