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Retro Game of the Day! Jumpman Junior

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved (or, not so much) during the formative years. Today's entry is Jumpman Junior by Epyx.

Ron Alpert, Blogger

November 11, 2009

3 Min Read

Retro Game of the Day! Jumpman Junior




Jumpman Junior by Epyx, for various computers and consoles, released in 1983 (my experience was with the Atari 400, also popular on C64 and Colecovision)



Old, old game here! I have no idea why I bought this game - I guess the neon-styled box art looked intriguing (but then, many Epyx games sported such a look). Back in those days, it was very difficult to track what games were coming out, what was new, what was worthwhile. Game magazines weren't exactly available at supermarkets and consumer electronics stores were more styled like a Radio Shack then a Home Theater Demo & Distribution center. Basically, if you were a gamer, you were either an extreme fringe hobbyist or a fairly clueless and young kid (or both).



Anyway, these were the circumstances upon which I crossed paths with Jumpman Junior. Never knowing about the original game, I picked this one up and was instantly delighted with the single-screen platformer action. Simple but accessible, you maneuvered your little guy up and down one-way ladders, run up and down inclines, and took leaps off of perilous crevices. Your job was to pickup (defuse) bombs, without being "shot" by some onscreen antagonist. Projectiles would appear and slowly make their way across the screen, if they lined up with your X or Y then they'd "snap" and sharply accelerate on that axis towards you (it was not hard to jump out of the way, but sometimes that would be.. very inconvenient!)



Jumping was your primary ability, though falling was a big problem. If you took a leap from too great a height, you'd succumb to gravity and fall -hard - and lose a life. If you remember that old episode of The Simpsons when Homer tried to skateboard over Springfield Gulf, and instead crashed to the ledge on he other side - painfully slamming into every obstacle on the long way down to the ground - well, this was kind of the primitive videogame version of that.



Jumpman Junior was a wonderful game by an excellent developer. The game got tricky and had a lot of careful thought put into it - I never made it particularly far into it. Emulating the old Atari system on my trusty GP32, I will pick it up and give it a run for old time's sake now and again. It's a dated game, but still very fun!

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