GIMME INDIE GAME: RUNHELLO’S JUMPMAN


2.20.2009

Brandon Boyer

20 Replies

Explains TIGSource member mcc of his inventively everything-old-is-new-again PC/Mac platformer Jumpman, which is already garnering lots of “!”s from around the indie gaming niche:

The thought was to kind of take all the things that have become possible in games in the last 29 years– physics, 45 degree angles, a z axis– and bring the new technology into an early-80s-style platformer while at the same time changing the platformer’s basic nature as little as possible. The hope is to try to make you believe that every 2600-era platformer would have looked like this if only you’d pulled the camera back about 4 feet.

You might not ‘get’ it right away, but — as you literally peel back its layers and dive further into its puzzling core — you’ll know when you do.

Jumpman home [Runhello, via TIGSource forums]

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COMMENTS

  1. I wish the control scheme was a little tighter. The ‘slide’ that the character has leads to a lot of frustrating deaths.

    The ‘hope’ level is driving me insane.

    Wonderful game!





  2. Sorry, but the real “Jumpman” was a vastly superior game that I played incessantly on my Commodore 64 back in the day (see link in post #2). This thing bears no resemblance to the real thing, and frankly, isn’t even much fun.


  3. yeah, i thought “jumpman” was already taken. so maybe this is more of an homage to that game? this is really a nice update. by the time it hit the level with the arrows, my mind was thoroughly blown.



  4. I was a bit disappointed that the music that plays during the movie isn’t part of the actual game. I agree that the original Jumpman for the C64 is the better game, but given that you died if you fell too far in that game, it doesn’t work very well with a “rotate the screen” mechanic.


  5. I loved Jumpman on the C64 (and the DOS version, later on) but the same stupid problem plagued them both – playing in random mode always started you on the same level, a level in which it was totally possible to do things in the wrong order and have it end up impossible to beat. That still frustrates me, but one of my all time favorite games, regardless.



  6. This “zooming” Jumpman actually makes me feel a bit ill as I watch the video.
    And that’s strange, considering I play FPS games a lot.
    (Any ideas, medically trained Offworlders?)
    I too loved the original C64 Jumpman. If anyone’s interested in a more “traditional” Jumpman remake (ie same levels, better graphics)…
    Jumpman UC was released 6 years ago, by the same Australian guy who programmed Future Pinball. It contains a level editor, & was created with the blessing of Jumpman creator, Randy Glover.


  7. I played the c64 Jumpman for hours on end (never did make it through the Grand Tour), and had that moment of punctured nostalgia at the title of this game – but look past that, it’s pretty awesome. Well worth playing through, IMHO.


  8. I just played through the c64 Jumpman (and Jumpman Jr) by abusing save-states. Honestly, that thing was insanely frustrating and full of completely unfair random death. It is not actually much fun when you’re not an eight-year-old obsessively playing. The Jumpman linked to here is full of sudden death, but you can see everything coming!


  9. This Jumpman is not a remake of the C64 Jumpman, despite the name. It is not supposed to be an ‘homage’ or update or anything, so the comments comparing the two are a little off. I understand nostalgia colors everything, but let’s not discount this game because you grew up playing a game with the same name. Judge this one on its own merits.

    I will say that I greatly enjoyed Jumpman, if you liked Metanet’s N+, I think you’ll find this is a great game in the same vein. There’s a lot of fun physics and gravity in this one, and the ‘rotate the stage’ control is quite fun to explore (feels a little like ‘Super Mario Galaxy’).

    Give it a try if you like 2D platformers.


  10. The game looks like it could be really something, but we’re not going to give the guy a chance until he changes the name of the game. Change the name and get back to us, dude.


  11. Everyone is hung up on the name of the game, but consider this:

    Did you know that Mario was actually called “Jumpman” in Donkey Kong, which came out in 1981 before they gave the character a name? And that Donkey Kong was the major influence on the 1983 Jumpman for C64? In an interview, the designer of the ’83 Jumpman, Randy Glover, said Donkey Kong “caused me to choose the format I did for Jumpman.” Considering that this 2009 Jumpman uses an Atari-era aesthetic and seems to be commenting on old school gaming, and since the name ‘Jumpman’ has appeared in different forms throughout gaming history, maybe there’s a creative reason for him choosing this name?
    Also, “Jumpman”, accoring to Wikipedia, was “the logo for Michael Jordan’s Nike merchandise”, so the name is hardly exclusive to that one C64 game.


  12. Let’s not forget that Jumpman was itself heavily influenced by Donkey Kong. Yes, the gameplay was actually a fair bit different, but come on — computer gaming at the time was rife with ripoffs, because there was a huge market for “almost like the arcade” games. Remember Miner 2049er? Similar idea. This game is actually much more original. I agree that it’s odd that he called it Jumpman, especially if it’s not intended as a homage to the original, but ah well.

    And IAN70, seriously? Get over yourself. The creator of this game wasn’t looking for your approval. He just made a thing, and he’s giving it away. If you don’t like it, don’t play it, or better yet, make something better.


  13. “This “zooming” Jumpman actually makes me feel a bit ill as I watch the video.” me too


  14. Jumpman is now one of my favorite games. I hated how “floaty” it was at first, but now its grown on me.


  15. Pingback: Runhello bringing indie fave Jumpman to iPhone | VENUS PATROL