Every now and again along comes a game that really stands out from the rest. Sea Dragon, Miner 2049er, Astro Chase, Pharoah's Curse and now ... JUMPMAN.
On past form, Epyx is not one of the most exciting of software houses. You either love or hate their graphics animated adventures and their last arcade releases were very mediocre if not downright pathetic. Author Randy Glover has, however, changed all that.
Although JUMPMAN contains elements already used in other games it is the way it is put together and presented that makes it an excellent piece of software. Basically a Donkey Kong/Miner 2049er type of game, it uses simpler graphics but more than makes up for this by having no less than 30 screens for Jumpman to fight, dodge, shoot, climb, fall and puzzle his way through. There are 8 screens in the beginner's level, 10 in the intermediate and 12 in the advanced level.
An attractive feature if you don't want to (or can't!) work up through each screen in turn, is the Randomiser option. This chooses a screen at random, the only problem being that the same screen can come up twice in a row.
Very nicely done is the way each screen scrolls down into place to the tune of some well-known barrel-organ music. Also very effective is the demolition of the current screen when you lose your last Jumpman. On completion of a level, you are rewarded with a firework display and a view of Jumpman's skyscraper headquarters with all the lights on. Before this, however, you must collect bombs that have been planted throughout the building whilst avoiding the many dangers.
As with Miner, it will take some time before the last screen is reached and completed. Some
screens require hand to eye co-ordination, others involve solving puzzles. All are different.
This is what gives this game that rare quality amongst computer games
- lasting appeal!