Happy Jump Review

Happy Jump Review

Nov 30, 2012

Retro Dreamer apparently figured out something kind of silly after all the turds they released on Android: if they cleaned up their act, they had some fun games with mass appeal. And so here we are with Happy Jump, published by NoodleCake Games (to help get the word to the masses). Players control a smiling jelly, who squishes and bounces his way higher and higher, avoiding dangerous flies, crumbling platforms, and coin layouts that threaten to leave the happy little jelly feeling distraught as he falls back to the ground.

The game falls somewhere between Doodle Jump and Mega Jump on the endless jumper scale, as there are both platforms to jump on and coins that propel the happy candy higher up in the air. There’s also Bejeweled Blitz-esque pre-game boosts, like getting head starts, shields, or special point bonuses.

The game is fairly simple, but it executes well, as the tilt controls work very well, and the gameplay doesn’t get overly-complicated. There’s a variety of character skins to unlock, such as ice cream, cupcakes, and hats. Every game improves with hats.

Of course, it is a fairly basic game, and one that has been seen before. My one quibble with the mechanics is that the flies tend to be just way too annoying. They’re extremely difficult to avoid, and any kind of meaningful run requires the shield powerup to be used just to survive hits from them, as the timing windows to avoid them is often very, very tight. As well, it can be difficult to discern between a fruit boost that can take out enemies and just a coin boost; I died often from thinking I had one when I really had the other.

While this isn’t Retro Dreamer’s most innovative or even their best game, its effective simplicity and cute characters do have plenty of appeal. Not sick of endless jumpers? Check it out.

Retro Dreamer Finds Unexpected Success With Joke App Happy Poo

Retro Dreamer Finds Unexpected Success With Joke App Happy Poo

Apr 9, 2012

So, remember Happy Poo, that game from Retro Dreamer that was created as a response to the frustrations of Android? Well, life has a funny way of working. See, as it turns out, Android users didn’t really catch the joke. Android users really loved Happy Poo. It has over 10,000 downloads on Google Play. On the Amazon Appstore, it got all the way up to #3 on the free charts. As Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer notes, it sadly didn’t reach number two. But thanks to these downloads and the ads in the game, a crazy fact has emerged from the development of Happy Poo.

They’ve made a profit off of this joke app. A modest one, but one that they’ve taken and spent on more Happy Poo apps. Based on developer friends enjoying the game and competing to see who could polish their smiling little turds the fastest, there’s now Happy Poo for 2 where players race to polish the quickest on one device. Think this isn’t enough of a game? Then try the endless jumper Happy Poo Jump. Don’t find cartoon poo all that enticing? Then perhaps Wash The Dishes is more your speed. It’s all silliness, and so far download counts haven’t shown that they’ll hit a kind of critical mass the way that the original Happy Poo did, but considering that they didn’t have any promotion at all, it’s still silly to think – they’ve at least broken even on the games.

Of course, that’s more than they can say about Android as a whole. Especially when a passive-aggressive joke game is outselling the Android version of their biggest hit, Sneezies.

So, the plan for Retro Dreamer is to just focus on iOS development from here on out. They’ve had their ‘fun’ with the Android platform. They’ve been frustrated with their performance, they’ve gotten to make their jokes – literally – and the Android market fell for it hook, line, and stinker.

But here’s how crazy Android has gotten – a developer is retreating to the safer waters of the iOS App Store after Android proved to be too crazy.

Maybe the whole mobile market’s just gone to [censored].

EDIT: Gavin Bowman of Retro Dreamer has posted in our comments clearing up a few points from this article, check it out below.

Retro Dreamer Throws Happy Poo at Android Wall, Hopes it Sticks

Retro Dreamer Throws Happy Poo at Android Wall, Hopes it Sticks

Jan 18, 2012

Android is just full of crap. Literally. This is the story of a game developer, who is not having a very good time on Android. Meet Gavin Bowman. He released his studio’s first Android title last week, DoubleTake. Readers will note that we covered the game last week, and it recently was released to the Amazon Appstore as well. The game has not really caught fire yet, as it’s only had about a hundred or so downloads. So, Retro Dreamer have decided to keep trying to draw blood from this stone, and have released a classy new game: Happy Poo – Turd Polisher.

This game has players polishing a smiling brown lump of unknown origin, and it must be vigorously polished until it is shiny and happy. It opens and closes its eyes while it is being polished, and it seems rather happy at the prospect of being polished. Polish that little guy! Try to set a record time! Then, do it again!

According to reviews, players love Happy Poo! It currently has twice as many reviews as DoubleTake, proving that people love this crap! Prophet says “Very good fast-paced gameplay. Could have earned 5* if there were bonuses and powerups” – will their prophecy come true some day? David “had a chuckle at the graphics and thought the presentation was good.” Finally, patcheung says that it makes time spent while playing the game on the toilet go faster! The game was reviewed on the HTC Evo 3D – will a 3D-optimized version being coming someday?

The game was made in less than a week, and thanks to Android Market’s instantaneous publishing times, Retro Dreamer programmer Gavin Bowman can put out more quick games like this, just throwing them at the wall until something sticks. Because in this market, that’s apparently what needs to be done in order to get some attention, to keep from losing all hope in this market.