film & game reviews, the retro way.
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
I decided to turn to my trusty iPhone since I know for a fact that the App Store houses some of the worst games out there (and some good ones too, of course). For every Temple Run, there’s a… “Pimple Run” or something else that sounds sort of like the real thing but 100% less appealing and more suspect. You like Super Mario Run? How about Super Miner Run Adventure? Big fan of Angry Birds? You should try Bomber Birds – Angry Land. This last one has received particularly energetic reviews, by the way:
Yes it’s not always easy to find the right game for you on the App Store but it can be surprisingly easy to find the wrong game. The kind of game you download on an optimistic whim only to find yourself being flooded with ads before promptly getting rid of it like a bad clam. Which brings us to good old Jumpy Jeff.
Combining the infamous difficulty of Flappy Bird with the relentless speed of… every running-themed mobile game ever made, Jumpy Jeff might not show up at the top of the download charts or your search results but there is a special place for it in the world where it most definitely belongs: a third-rate review website!
Released all the way back in 2014, this is not a game for the faint of heart (or of colon) as it aims to entertain but also challenge the very fabric of your sanity.
The eponymous Jeff is just your average skateboarder: he’s got the blue jeans, the partly shaved head, the five o’clock shadow, the giant skateboard with wheels bigger than his own feet. He’s the hipster we all want to be deep inside. WAY deep. No, dig deeper. Yeah no, that’s not even remotely deep enough. Your finger has to go through your eye not in it. DEEPER, I say!!! Ok stop. You hear that popping noise?
Yup, that means you’re ready for Jumpy Jeff.
The game itself is simple: Jeff rides on his skateboard, jumping over the occasional wall and collecting trophies, we’re told, will “bling Jumpy up”. Set aside the fact that I had no idea Jeff’s first name was literally Jumpy, what this means is you jump around collecting fancy clothes or accessories. It’s totally worth it, I assure you! See, look how good Jeff looks in a red sweater:
Did I lie?
This should have been a fun, if limited and repetitive, fast-paced time waster. You may hate Flappy Bird, I know I do, but it’s not technically a bad game. It just happens to be rather hard and a patience tester. Jumpy Jeff, however, is quite simply awful.
The speed at which Jeff reaches the brick walls leaves you very little time to jump over them so, chances are you’ll crash and crash and crash some more. And, since there are walls above the low walls and Jeff is basically the size of the gap he’s meant to be jumping through like a circus seal, this doesn’t make for a very enjoyable experience. Oh, and the walls change position with every play, there’s also that. It’s frustrating and I know lots of games are so that’s not the issue, the problem lies in its basic playability. The jumping is inexplicably broken as it, more often than not, sends you flying way too high or barely lifts you off the ground. It’s never clear if a simple tap or a long press is the right move. Truth is the only right move is deleting the game altogether.
In case it’s not obvious, collecting goggles or T-shirts isn’t exactly the most rewarding thing you’d expect considering how irritating the game is. By the way, every time you crash against a wall, not only do you get the obligatory Game Over screen, but a short glitch flashes and it’s as if the Matrix was trying to suck you in through your own phone. This made me wonder how many updates this game received since its conception and, to my lack of surprise, it turns out it got only one… in 2014:
So if the game’s creator gave up on this one years ago… why am I giving it the benefit of the doubt? I must be the most generous yet petty human on the face of the Earth.
My favourite glitch is how Jeff wobbles whenever he’s on the move, even on the title screen. It’s a slight but constant wobble and staring at it over and over is a good way to guarantee a headache. When you get the Game Over screen, which obviously happens every couple of seconds, the game tells you to “Tap To Restart” but when you do, Jeff is speeding along as expected but you are actually back on the title screen so it always takes a couple of moments to realise you, in fact, need to tap twice to restart.
Does this break the flow of the gameplay? Do chickens have beaks?
At one point playing the game, Jeff suddenly started to go even faster and the screen started blinking non-stop so either I unwittingly picked up the single worst power-up ever designed or it was yet another glitch.
Quite possibly the worst part of Jumpy Jeff, however, has to be the ads. Indeed, you are bombarded with the silliest app ads you’ve ever seen and this happens every couple of wall crashes. Said ads are not only slow but closing them is about as easy as lifting the Eiffel Tower.
No, wait. That’s a bad analogy as that's physically impossible and you can close the ads eventually.
The ads really do not make you want to keep playing Jumpy Jeff more than a couple of minutes ever. I mean, one second you’re sort of playing, the next you’re looking at weird images you have no interest in acknowledging, let alone click on.
“Tap the lemon to earn cash”???
Frankly, I tried that already and I’m still poor so you can take your Lemonade Stand, Mr Adventure Capitali$t (IF that is your real name) and shove it where the Sun doesn’t shine. Where lemons simply cannot grow.
Because of the lack of sunlight.
Why in the world would I swipe the word ‘AT’?
Is this mindless action really me making the best use of my time?
…kay, anything else?
Right, well if I ever feel the need to shoot cannonballs at baby bunnies or harpoon happy (and literal) land sharks in the face, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, do you mind if I get back to this game review? Thanks.
In its description, the game calls itself “the challenge of a lifetime” and I would agree with that except I can’t in good conscience recommend you waste any amount of your lifetime on Jumpy Jeff.
I’m sure it was put together with the best of intentions, I’m sure its developer is super nice and it was probably nothing more than just a fun little experiment but it’s just not a game worth downloading unless you want to recommend it to a friend as a joke then watch him throw his own iPhone, ironically, at a nearby wall.