Get geared up for this unique platform jumper! Ever since the popularity of Doodle Jump spread worldwide, I have seen my fair share of clones in App Store. Sure, imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it’s nice to see Glu Mobile taking things in a fresh direction with Jump O’Clock.
The goal of Jump O’Clock, as with all platform jumping games, is to get as high as you can. Insert 4/20 joke here. You play as a little megamanesque robot named Leo. Rather than bouncing on platforms, you jump from gear to gear in what appears to be a giant steam-powered clock. You automatically stick to each gear, and are able to rotate around it until you tap the screen to jump to another gear. Strategy comes into play with the ability to wall jump. This works just as expected, with you sticking to the left or right wall, and slowly sliding down until you tap again to jump off. The game is able to detect jump angles surprisingly well, and I rarely had an issue with jumping in an unintended direction.
As mentioned before, the only controls in the game are tapping the screen to jump. That’s it. Your direction is based on rotating around gears until you are facing where you want to jump to. One of my biggest annoyances with Doodle Jump is the reliance on tilt controls, and thus the complete inability to play it while lying down in bed. Jump O’Clock doesn’t have this issue, and probably has the absolute simplest control scheme of these games that I’ve seen. You can really get an simpler than “tap anywhere”.
As you progress through the levels you will collect little golden nuts (as in, for bolts. shut up, Dave.). If you collect enough of these, you can activate a “super jump”, which essentially causes Leo to go all Dragon Ball Z and fly up past all obstacles for a brief moment. Speaking of obstacles, aside from different size gears, you eventually encounter more treacherous objects the higher you get. Some of the gears had blades that would knock you off, but not kill you. Other gears were electrified, and would zap you if you stayed on too long. The great part about these is they don’t instantly end the game. You get knocked back, but can often recover from a quick wall jump. There were a couple cases when I magically fell through gears to my death, but I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.
Aside from the main game, Jump O’Clock features 5 different challenge modes, each with three levels of difficulty. These involve simply reaching a certain height, collecting a certain number of bolt nuts, or completing a distance without getting hit by electricity, blades, etc. Upon completion you are rewarded with achievements, as the game is fully OpenFeint enabled. I should also quickly mention that the visuals and music are top notch, which is something I’ve come to expect from Glu Mobile games!
Jump O’Clock is one of the most polished and easy-to-play platform jumpers on the iPhone. It brings extremely simple controls, unique gameplay, and a great steampunk visual style to the genre. The challenges will keep you, um… challenged for a good amount of time, and the lack of instant death from touching bad things will help with those “less gifted” players out there. Oh and you can play while laying down. WIN. Leo will be rockin’ the gears in my iPhone for quite some time.
Jump O’Clock is available now for 99 cents. Get it on