My initial impression before playing Super One More Jump was that it would be a generic autorunner with only little depth. My impression after playing it is a gigantic smile plastered on my face. The game has a modest concept: guide a pixel-shaped creature to the goal point in each level. Your character runs on his own, and all you have to do is time his jumps onto safe platforms.
It’s an unassuming premise, but the unique level design sets the game apart. Unlike other autorun platformers, you travel not only horizontally but also vertically, and even upside down. An element of gravitation keeps the action dynamic. Your character can run on the ceiling as in VVVVV and make satisfying circular orbit jumps like in Super Mario Galaxy. The gravity-defying platforming can be disorienting, but it delivers a fresh perspective.
The single-button control scheme is effectively implemented. Since your only available command is “jump,” you’re free to harness all of your focus into timing your leaps. Super One More Jump demands precision and quick adaptation. Your character or the stage may suddenly change at any time, and you only have a half second to respond. Platforms suddenly appear, disappear and move. Likewise, certain obstacles may flip you around or make you bounce higher, changing how you approach each jump. It plays out like an intense roller coaster ride, and the twitch-based platforming elevates the tension, resulting in a fever rush. That being said, it can feel cheap when you simply have no time to react to a constantly changing field. There are a lot of gimmicky mechanics to keep track of, but the game does a good job of slowly introducing them.
Needless to say, Super One More Jump is a tough game, and the death counter will be high for most players. Every time you die, you instantly reset to the beginning. Most early stages are short, so the punishment isn’t an issue there. During the longer and more involved stages, though, it’s demoralizing to die just before the goal. Not only do you have to get through the entire level again, but you could very well die at the same trouble spot. On the plus side, after replaying a devious map often enough, I could sense baby steps of improvement with every attempt. There's also an element of muscle memory, and every time I got just a little further, I believed I could do it, and wanted just one more try.
Skilled platformer experts can increase the challenge by seeking out three diamonds in every level. The diamonds are out there in the open but each require exact timing and a high risk of death to acquire. I had to start resisting them once the game hit its difficulty spike, but it’s satisfying whenever I could pull a perfect run with all three collectibles. For those who are scared off by the difficulty, there is a practice option that slows down the speed by about half, which is just enough to make it more accessible. The downside is that collectibles are removed and you receive a red badge of shame when you beat the stage, but at least it counts towards your overall progress.
There are eight sets of 12 levels, equaling nearly 100 in total. You have to complete a certain number in order to unlock later sets. And with good reason too, since the last few stages border on insane difficulty. All things considered, it can be frustrating if you can’t get past a group of levels.
Luckily, the developers have packed the game to the brim with additional content. Collecting diamonds lets you earn alternate versions of each map: mirrored, dark, and a vomit-inducing rotating variant. These extras aren’t that impressive, but all the additional modes are. A vault mode houses a whopping 60 extra stages. They’re more compact in design, but provide nice breaks in-between the intensive main campaign. Circuit mode places you in an enclosed room with randomly generated platforms. It plays like the regular game, except you run in a loop, and the game scores you on how many laps you complete. Another mode utilizes an endless course, testing your endurance in a continually generated randomized layout. Although these two modes don’t have polished design, they theoretically add infinite replayability.
As a pleasant surprise, the game offers two multiplayer modes. One is essentially like a race between two players to see who can make it the furthest on an endless track. The other is a co-op mode that supports up to four players. Unlike 2-player endless, co-op pits all players onto a shared track, with color codes corresponding to each person. For example, when the shared character is on a pink portion of the track, the designated pink player must jump accordingly. As such, it’s more conducive to multiplayer hilarity than the competitive mode, and brings back memories of publisher SMG Studio’s other co-operative title Death Squared. Additions like these are welcome, considering the single-player content was already plentiful.
The presentation is another case of exceeded expectations. The standard look serviceably uses basic geometric shapes, but there are a number of bonus colorful 8- and 16-bit designs that spruce up the visuals considerably. I liked switching between designs randomly, although I had to get used to differentiating what the various stage gimmicks looked like between art styles. The background music has a consistent techno beat, but otherwise doesn’t stand out, and grows repetitive the longer you listen to it.
Super One More Jump is a simple single-button game with an excellent execution. What could have been a generic mobile port is a well-crafted autorun platformer instead, with sleek presentation options. The fast pace of the game may not appeal to all, but hardcore players who seek an adrenaline rushing 2D roller coaster ride may want to seek out this hidden gem. This is an addictive experience that leaves you wanting one more jump.
I am a lifelong gamer, having grown up with Nintendo since I was young. My passion for gaming led to one of the greatest moments of my life, my video game themed wedding!