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Jumpster™ Review

By , on October 5, 2012


Jumpster™
Download on the AppStore
3 out of 5

PROS

  • Lush and entertaining locales.

CONS

  • Design prominently based around getting the player to spend money.

VERDICT

A fun little physics puzzle game bogged down by its free to play monetization trappings.


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If there's one thing Jumpster has going for it, it's that for most of the levels, eye-absorbing would be a very apt description. The planet Okadia is definitely full of eye candy, but sadly this is not going to help Jumpster acquire all the fuel cells needed to power his ship off this lush and lavish planet.

The core of the experience here is a physics puzzler that is designed around the freemium model. A catapulting drag of the finger will cause Jumpster to jump along the arc provided, grabbing stars, and trying to reach the UFO at the end of the level. Water is his safe haven, and most of your jumps will be to propel him to pools, puddles, or anti-gravity water droplets hanging out in the air (they must be wading for something to happen). As the game progresses, more contraptions and obstacles get introduced. As a physics puzzler, it's pretty standard fare and nothing we haven't seen before.

Where it starts to become obnoxious however is the constant coaxing the game engages in to get the player to spend money. For a start there's an energy bar at the top of the screen that dwindles with each jump and death. While completing levels and collecting stars top it back up, it's an ever-looming presence and reminder that if it depletes, you have to stop playing for a while, or pay to continue. On top of that, the game will constantly throw a pop-up menu at you between levels, telling you to go spend your credits. Credits are earned through collecting the stars and progressing through the game, and most of the aesthetic purchases are at a decent enough price point (everything else that has a use for the game isn't really needed to tell the truth). Overall it just feels like the developer is trying to guilt you into spending money for daring to play their game for free, and for this model to work, you need to give your audience value, not make them feel bad.

So if you're in the market for another physics puzzler, Jumpster is definitely a decent enough entry into the genre. It's very 'by the numbers' though, with its only addition being its unfortunate freemium design. It's something to keep in mind when making your decision.

Screenshots

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