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PS4 Game Review

Jump King


Format: PS4
Publisher: UKIYO Publishing
Developer: Nexile
RRP: £9.99
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Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 09 June 2020

Prepare for true high-stakes platforming. The only way forward is up, and your only enemy is yourself. Tension rises with each jump when a single mistake means a long fall - and you have to get back up again yourself... Hold to charge and release to leap away. The seemingly simple act of jumping will take much practice to master. Use your mind before you jump. The obvious path is sometimes not the best, and once you are in the air there is no turning back...

Review imageJump King is a tactical leaping adventure; a challenging platformer that sees you struggling upwards in search of the legendary "Smoking Hot Babe". The graphics hark back to the classic days of 8-bit gaming and for those of us that grew up in the '80s this offers a lovingly nostalgic experience... at first.

The goal is to jump from platform to platform in an ever upwards direction. Tap the jump key for a small jump and hold for a longer jump, as you attempt to reach the top, where you're promised the reward of a "smoking hot babe" - a goal that's a tad un-PC in these "enlightened" times. You can jump to the left, right or straight up and working out where to stand and how high to jump is key to progressing ever higher. In the main this is achieved with a lot of trial and error and an almost endless circle of falling to the level below... or, if you're really unlucky (and you will be) to the very bottom of the level.

In a lot of ways it reminded me of the 1983 Spectrum game Bugaboo (The Flea). And, while that game was a critical hit with gamers, Jump King's levels are not as well designed and the developers didn't factor in how quickly people would probably just rage quit when they've landed back at the start for the umpteenth time in an evening. But if you do switch it off in anger, there is some comfort in the fact that your progress is constantly saved, so you can pick back up where you left off.

Review imageAs I jumped around the screen, becoming more and more frustrated, I couldn't help but think of the kids in Back to the Future II who see Marty getting a "crack shot" on the Wild Gunman arcade machine: "You mean you have to use your hands?" "That's like a babies toy."

There's a reason why we don't very often go back and play old games that previously brought us hours, weeks or even years of entertainment. Things have moved on and they just feel a little dull in comparison. While Jump King is obviously a new game, this means that it doesn't even have the appeal of being an old classic you're revisiting.

This release includes two free expansions - New Babe+ and Ghost of the Babe, but to be honest I've no idea what they are? I suspect they're new environments to climb... but neither the official site nor the press information we received gave any details.

Review imageAt £10 it's a little pricey especially when you consider that a lot of the new VR games - which take a lot more time and money to produce - from small independent companies are being released at under £20.

You might get an afternoon's fun out of it if you're a child of the '80s/'90s... but it's doubtful you'll stretch it any further than that.


Darren Rea

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