On first impressions Mr Jump looks like another endless runner. A game that’s sole purpose is to establish its simple premise before letting you dash forward through its randomly generated, yet oddly repetitive, challenge. It quickly becomes evident, however, that Mr Jump is something else. While it is an auto-runner, it is filled with tightly designed levels, and an evolving challenge that keeps you having to constantly hone your skills.
Inspired by the greats
Where similar games keep throwing newly formed, untested levels at you, Mr Jump's developer has clearly gone out of its way to ensure each stage of the little hero’s journey has been perfectly tweaked to match the growing complexity.
This is evident from stage one, in which the blocky Mr Jump must dash through a grassy environment, reminiscent of Mario's world 1.1 or Sonic's Green Hill Zone. A single tap has him do a little hop, while holding the screen causes a longer arching jump. Every hillock, hole, and spike is placed just so, allowing you to run at the fixed challenge again and again. When you fall you know that it is your fault, and to rub salt into the wound it tells you exactly what percentage of the course you had managed to complete.
Finishing a stage delivers you to a new world with new challenges. In the case of the second, darker swamp area this means tiny diamonds that must be landed on to allow you to perform a second jump, enabling hair-raising bounce-combos over otherwise impossibly long gaps. Even this develops across the game’s multiple, carefully crafted levels, rolling in mechanics such as Flappy Bird's constant taps to fly and vanishing platforms.
All of this retro, auto-running action is well matched to the bold pixel art graphics and chirpy music which only further exemplify the love and effort that has clearly been lavished upon Mr Jump. Despite their simplicity, these elements blend together well to create a sense of place for each tiny level that is strangely evocative.
Super Mr Jump
The moral of the story is not to judge a game by its icon, because Mr Jump is far from just another cookie cutter experience. Expertly combining its various mechanics together across masterfully constructed stages, this auto-runner is a cut above the majority of the competition.