[Review] Jump King – Nintendo Switch

Written by Akio Kahoshi
  • Developer: Nexile
  • Publisher: Ukiyo Publishing
  • Release Date: 09/06/2020
  • Price: £10.99 / $12.99
  • Review code provided by Ukiyo Publishing

INTRODUCING: JUMP KING SWITCH REVIEW

The premise of Jump King is fairly simple. There is a Smoking Hot Babe at the top, and Jump King wants to reach her. To reach her, he must (surpring as it may seem) jump up a series of platforms. Obviously, Jump King is designed to be fairly tongue-in-cheek when it comes to its premise.

The above summarizes the entire plot of the game, with the only other dialogue being an old man that says random lines every time the player falls down to the bottom of the map – which will happen often. At least the old man appears to have quite a bit of dialogue, since I never saw a repeat during my playtime.

Graphically the game is not particularly special either, rather it is simple but well-done pixel graphics that offer just enough to work. The second area with its red colors was quite pleasing though. Because it uses such simple graphics the game runs smoothly, and given the structure of the game, load times are nonexistent.

THE KING OF JUMPING

So without a story or graphics to prop it up, this leaves the entire strength of the game to the jumping mechanics. And unfortunately, they just are not enough to carry it. Jump King is difficult, but artificially so. Jumping is done by holding down the jump button and holding a direction. The strength of the jump depends on how long the button is held up to a maximum height when the character jumps automatically.

The controls as simple enough, but actually doing anything with them is more frustrating than fun. There are no indicators for trajectory or jump power, so it all comes down to “feel.” What this really means is that I would hold a button for a fraction of a second too long or too short and end up plummeting down one or two screens.

Undoubtedly, there are players that will find these controls just fine and be able to quickly finish the game after practicing. For the average player, the controls will only be a barrier to enjoying Jump King. After spending a couple hours of making it up the tree only to miss a couple jumps and end up back at the start, I found myself not frustrated as I expected. Instead, I simply found myself bored.

FINAL THOUGHTS

For those that enjoy a game that is difficult for the sake of being difficult, Jump King is just that. For everyone else it is a game that does not even try to make itself enjoyable beyond that narrow demographic. Jump King is not awful, it is just tedious.

PROS

  • Runs smoothly
  • Decent pixel art

CONS

  • Shallow story
  • Clunky controls
  • Difficult without substance

Verdict
Jump King is an average game that squanders what potential it had to be fun by choosing to focus on its difficulty.

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