— This post was published during #JurassicJune, an annual, month-long celebration of all things Jurassic.
NO WONDER THEY'RE EXTINCT
Last month, 8-bit mobile game Jurassic Jump Adventure, produced by Jurassic June in collaboration with Tiny Dev Studio was revealed. Now, just in time to kick off #JurassicJune, Jurassic Jump is available to download — on both iOS and Android — and I have some first impressions to share. Well, one impression, really…
Death, death, death. Jurassic Jump is infinitely tougher than I expected it to be. Prior to playing it, I expected a fun, lightly challenging romp, to be jumped into and enjoyed casually, whenever I happened to have a few minutes to spare.
Jurassic Jump is, for all intents and purposes, Flappy Bird 2.0. No sooner had I booted up the game than I found myself staring at the Game Over screen —
— after Randy the Raptor met an unfortunate end at the… point? (certainly not the hands…) of a conveniently placed spike.
Two days later — at the time of writing — I still haven’t managed to beat the first stage. I thought I’d gained the upper hand when I discovered Randy’s ability to double jump, but my feeling of victory was short-lived. I’d yet to encounter the ceiling spikes. If I happen to have a heart attack any time within the next few days, it’s the fault of those damn ceiling spikes.
Given that I still haven’t managed to make it past those monsters, I don’t have a lot to say about the rest of the game, but the little of it I’ve been able to experience has impressed me more than I thought it would.
It’s by no means the most intricate of tales, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the game has something of a story. Randy the Raptor — along with his friends, who I have, of course, yet to meet — is sent on a quest by his aged grandpa to retrieve the Almighty Eggs, which contain the last known DNA of their tribe. To add some variety to proceedings, coins, letters, and bonus eggs can be collected along the way.
Doesn’t sound particularly challenging, eh? Go retrieve some eggs and pick up some stuff along the way. It seems easy, and it might have been — if it weren’t for falling boulders, suddenly-appearing spikes and God knows what else I’ve yet to encounter.
With a world so filled with danger, it’s no wonder Randy and his friends are extinct.
It would all be very frustrating if the game weren’t so addictively fun. It plays smoothly, has a catchy soundtrack, and is pleasingly easy on the eyes. I have very little issues with the game itself — in fact, the only problem I’ve had is with the adverts.
Initially shown every time you die — which, you can probably guess, happens very frequently — they do seem to have been scaled back a bit. Nevertheless, they more often than not cause the game to crash on my iPad when they show up, which isn’t as frustrating as it could be given than the game loads so quickly, but is bothersome all the same.
Still, this is a fairly minor issue, and adverts can be completely removed from the game by paying a small fee. Normally, I wouldn’t promote microtransactions, but given that Jurassic Jump is free to download, and the payment to remove the adverts is one-off, I feel a little less conflicted about mentioning it. Unlike a lot of microtransactions out there, it’s fair.
And that’s really all I have to say at the moment. I like Jurassic Jump, quite a bit. I’m going to go off and play some more of it, and will report back when I manage to get a little further — if I ever get past those damn spikes, that is.
2011. Yes, you read that right: 2011. That’s the last time there was a Jurassic game of any real significance. Whilst an enjoyable treat, LEGO Jurassic World wasn’t at all what the majority of fans have been waiting for, and with the commercial success of Jurassic World, it should have been but an appetiser for bigger, better things to come. Well… fire the waiter, and send some raptors into the kitchen to see what’s up, because we’re still waiting for the main course.
Jurassic is a franchise that lends itself to any number of genres, and there's certainly no shortage of ideas for possible games. It really is about time one came along. Yes, there are rights involved, deals to be made and permissions to be gotten, but, let's be honest: it's going to happen.
Life will find a way, and someone will make one. Why not you?