Simple but enjoyable arcade action
Similar in style to Donkey Kong, Bombjack or the original Mario Bros. (in fact, Jumpman was Mario's original name in Donkey Kong), this is a neat and enjoyable little platformer that offers up some fun retro action. There is some sort of story to the game, which revolves around terrorists on Jupiter, but which is entirely unnecessary to be honest and serves no real purpose beyond adding some background flavour. Instead, let's focus on the gameplay. The basic idea here is to defuse the various bombs which litter the series of single screens and which is achieved simply by having Jumpman touch them. As his name suggests, he can move around by running, jumping and climbing ropes, but ropes only allow movement in one direction, while a variety of hazards also get in the way of achieving your objectives. These include bullets of various kinds as well as dangers unique to individual levels. While simply in concept, Jumpman is maddeningly addictive in the way of all great arcade games. The level design is clever and provided plenty of fast-paced challenge, while the controls, an integral part of any such platformer, are generally tight and responsive. Visually, the game bears a strong resemblance to its inspiration, Donkey Kong, with simple, retro sprites but which lack the charm and personality of an identifiable hero or villain like Mario or DK himself. Really, it is this lack of individuality which harms Jumpman a little as without a strong character, it becomes a little faceless. However, if you can get past this, then this is a cool, addictive retro platformer that provides plenty of nostalgic fun.