Mr. Jump is a side-scrolling jumper that has great retro graphics, super-responsive and simple controls, and stands out from a crowd of similar games with its addictive “one more try” gameplay. Yes it has in-app purchases, but in this case they don’t detract at all and make the game free.
In Mr. Jump, you control a little character who inexplicably has no head, just a blank white square on his shoulders. Mr. Jump runs to the right, and you control his jumps to avoid chasms, pointy rocks, and other obstacles. The controls couldn’t be simpler: short tap for a short jump, hold the tap longer for (you guessed it) a longer jump. Each time you miss a jump and land in the water or on the rocks, you die and start over. At first restarting from the same place seemed boring, but it’s an important part of the game. You begin to subconsciously remember the harder jumps and you get further along each level. When you reach the end of a level (100%), you unlock the next level and start learning a new course. There are 12 levels total. I can’t over-emphasize how addictive the game is. What seems like a five-minute time waster has eaten up more of my schedule than I’ll admit, as I crash and die and mumble “do’h! I can make that, just one more try!”
The graphics in Mr. Jump are fun and purposely retro and the sound effects help you time your jumps. The music can be annoying at times, and I looked for a place to turn it down, without success. The game ran smoothly on my original iPad Air with no stutters or crashes.
I’m no fan of the freemium model as it often ruins a smooth gaming experience with obtrusive ads and tedious episodes of going to the upgrade garage to shill for your credit card. But Mr. Jump is freemium done right. The game inserts ads for other games about once per ½ hour in my experience, and you can immediately click and dismiss them, or pay $1.99 to banish them entirely. If you give up on completing 100% of any level, you can buy your way to the next one, but it’s not required and not really necessary if you keep at it. Here’s an App Store link for Mr. Jump; it’s free to play.
If you’re interested in more great iPad apps, check out our Best iPad Apps section!