It seems like it was yesterday when I was reviewing another controversial title from our friends at Qubic Games (it actually was yesterday that it went live, you can read my review of “Pirates: All Aboard!” here). I didn’t like that title much, because it felt unfinished. It had cool, grand ideas but it underdelivered. “Jumping Joe & Friends”, however, sells a very simple concept and delivers a clean, fun result. I rather like it.
Again, much like other titles from this publisher, there’s no story here. This is an endless platformer, but instead of constantly running from side to side, you get to choose whether you jump right or left to keep advancing upwards. That’s the gist of it, really. But as you progress, there are collectibles along the way, hazards you need to avoid, enemies you need to very definitely avoid, bonuses you must try and reach… but beware of locking yourself in a platform without exit!
It’s a frantic little thing when in action, and it takes into a life of its own when trying to play against the clock (for which there’s also a dedicated game mode and its associated rewards) or as a couch versus game. There are over 60 characters to choose from in the versus roster, but nothing major is different about them beyond cosmetic changes. Still, it’s a welcome addition.
Another cool thing about “Jumping Joe & Friends” is the presentation: it looks really, really good. It’s a bit mid 2000’s Flash game, sure, but it still manages to have a certain degree of unique charm that I think comes from the animations. I like it. It certainly doesn’t come from the soundtrack, though, which is monotonous to a fault and has the uncanny ability of driving you mad faster than spending a night at the hotel from “The Shining”.
Speaking of playing it again, Sam: this is a title with an almost endless amount of replayability. Sure, there won’t be much change in what you do, but chasing a high score and/or beating your friends’ high score is something that’s inherently fun to do, at least for a while.
And the cost of all this arcadey fun? A cool $5, or half that if you already own other Qubic titles such as Robonauts, Astro Bears Party or the aforementioned Pirates: All aboard!. Yep, for the princely sum of two and a half dollars, or two hundred and fifty pennies, you can own a whole Nintendo Switch game. And you know what? Having spent some time with Joe and his friends jumping, I can certainly think of worse ways of spending a couple of bucks.
It really is not bad, this.