Friday Free Game Rundown September 7th

Friday Free Game Rundown September 7th

Sep 7, 2012

What goes up must have jumped. Isn’t that how the saying goes? Regardless of how the saying really goes, this week is all about games where the main action is to jump. Sure, fighting games are cool and games with puzzles keep the brain fresh, but games with a lot of jumping pose quite the challenge for some reason.

Think back to games like Mega Man and Super Mario Bros. Both involved a lot of jumping. At the time, they were both pretty difficult for a lot of people. Don’t let the simplicity of a jumping game make the game seem like it will be easy. Most of these jumping games for Android take quite a bit or timing and hand eye coordination. Warm up those leg muscles and let’s get to the games.


Miss Jump


A while back we talked about games based on stick figures, Miss Jump is a similar game to those in that post. The screen scrolls to the side and increases in speed as the levels progress. The object is to jump, duck and slide past objects. “Deceptively difficult!” says the New York Times (if they would have reviewed it).

Download Miss Jump


Worm Jump


Picture being a little worm and needing to get to the top of what seems to be the tallest tree EVER! Using the jumping skills only a cartoony worm can have, the object is to jump from green leafy ledge to the next collecting different berries along the way. Every now and again with certain power ups, the worm with crazy jumping skills will shoot up through the leaves like a rocket. Be prepared for the warp speed.

Download Worm Jump


PAC’N-JUMP


Imagine if Pac Man had legs. Okay, not think of the damage he could do if he would jump around when he was chasing those ghosts. Yeah, he would be kind of unstoppable if he could get away from moving in that preset grid. This is just such a game.

Download PAC’N-JUMP


Jumping Monkey 2


Monkeys are entertaining. That being said, this game has a monkey jumping around in it so the game must be good. Using the motion sensing parts of the phone to control the jumping monkey is a great way to fling the phone across the room when playing so be careful not to get too excited playing.

Download Jumping Monkey 2


NinJump


Um… it’s a ninja game, ’nuff said. Ninjas have these mystical powers to defy gravity among other skills. Using the Spiderman-like building climbing ability, the little ninja will need to jump from one building to another to avoid the balconies and other obstacles. Power ups are gained by touching 3 of the same item such as a birb or throwing star. The power ups will help to make the climb easier.

Download NinJump

Bouncy Mouse Review

Bouncy Mouse Review

Mar 15, 2012

I don’t tend to play video games that are inherently frustrating. As mentioned, I’m usually playing during my commute and I like to keep my blood pressure down during a commute. It’s not that I want an easy, mindless game, more that I don’t want to feel so challenged that I throw my phone out the window. I love a game with balance between a challenge and ease of play, and I’m happy to have found that in Bouncy Mouse.

Bouncy Mouse is the story of mouse vs. cat. The hero mouse is on a quest to reclaim his stolen cheese from a mean cat. The cheese has been scattered along the way and is waiting to be reclaimed as the mouse passes. The cat has claimed the biggest cheese wheel for itself and the mouse must reach him to get it back.

The mouse navigate the board by swinging from point to point by his tail. The swing points are specific spots throughout the playing field and are placed with a specific route in mind. Users get the mouse from spot to spot by twanging him around like a slingshot. If he’s fired off close enough to the next point then his tail will catch it and suspend him there. Cheese is often hovering in the space between two points so the mouse can grab it as he makes his arcs through the air. Once he reaches the end and collided with the cat he has won the level. He does have to avoid bees and falling into water below, so it’s not a completely easy game. As well points are awarded based on what percentage of cheese was collected in each stage, so there is strategy needed too.

This game is adorable. The mouse is cute and cheerful, which I find very cheerful myself. I’ve gotten myself stuck in a few places, but patience helps me work it out, and I love it all the time. I also love that I’m able to move the game board around, to see my next goal and plan a course of action.

I don’t really have any complaints at all. I would recommend it wholeheartedly.

Pig Rush Review

Pig Rush Review

Dec 9, 2011

I love pigs. It’s hard to explain why, it’s been the case for a long time. But it’s certainly a big part of why I decided to try out Pig Rush. It also seemed like one of those easy pick-up and put-down games that I like so much for my commute. And long story short that is exactly what it is. But this isn’t meant to be a short story, so:

Pig Rush is a side-scrolling platform jumping game. Except that the platforms are all at the same level, with the variation being the distance between them, which changes at intervals. The pig (which begins by being named Jumpy, but you have the option of renaming him) is an adorable little guy who just seems to like running. He trots along briskly at an even clip with no signs of slowing down, and it’s up to you to make sure that he doesn’t fall down into a ravine. The landscape is cartoonishly pastoral, with little fluffy clouds in a clear blue sky. Jumpy passes by little red barns and apple trees, flowers and picket fences. The only alarming thing about the world is that it is all hovering high in the sky with nothing supporting it. There are bees chilling out in the air above the platforms, and jumping into them earns point bonuses. Jumpy also has a few obstacles in the way of fires set along the way, but he can ward these off by jumping into and claiming a fireman’s hat, which must apparently be made of asbestos. And finally, a game about a pig would not be complete without a set of wings for him to earn, and become a flying pig. The wings can give you sustained, but not indefinite flight, and bring to mind the Tanuki suit from Mario 3.

The game’s largest draw is honestly the graphics: the designers have combined dimensions in a visually interesting way. Jumpy the pig, the trees and bees, are all 2D, but exist on the land platforms which are 3D. It’s almost a big confusing to look at, but still quite impressive. The music is also nice, with an almost Latin quality. It certainly sounds like the music of a pig running quickly.

The downside of the 3D graphics is that the game can lag quite a bit while rendering the background. This becomes a large issue quickly as it is a quick game that relies on the accuracy of your timing. A micro-second pause can mean a fall into a ravine and the end of your turn. This is compounded by the fact that ever death means that you go back to Level 1. There is the possibility of earning continues, but it comes at the cost of downloading additional programs. And the game itself suffers after time being being repetitive. I was intrigued when I first loaded it up because I was shown an assortment of variations of the theme (run as the Easter Bunny, or as a reindeer), but these side games can only be unlocked by earning a depressingly large number of points in the main game. I just don’t feel motivated to play so much of this game that I can unlock another version of the same thing and keep playing.

And this may seem like a random aside, but I was quite a bit disconcerted by some of the ads that run across the menu. I have no issue with a free app using ads to generate some revenue, but it’s a little strange that a game ostensibly aimed at young people is running ads for Mexican obesity clinics. I don’t know if it’s worse if no one is screening the ads, or if they are and that was allowed to pass.