Jumping Joe & Friends (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Shane Jury 22.08.2018

Review for Jumping Joe & Friends on Nintendo Switch

Like numerous independent publishers and developers, Polish studio, QubicGames, has found good sales and recognition on Nintendo Switch. Starting off near launch with Astro Bears Party, the company has gone on to publish many notable eShop games, like Robonauts, BRAWL, and Pirates All Aboard!, and more listed for release in the near future. The most recent of which, Jumping Joe & Friends, aims to be the most accessible of its entire catalogue yet. Is this leap of faith rewarded, or does it result in a painful belly flop?

Jumping Joe & Friends is an incredibly simplified title, to the degree of instantaneous action and minimal use of menu or narrative space. Taking place on a 2D vertical plane, the objective of the game is to reach as high as possible, using a combination of two pre-selected buttons to leap up to either a Northwest or Northeast platform. Accidently jumping to a non-existent floor spells certain death, as does too many collisions with enemies and hazards, and the rising lava floor that punishes hesitant movers. It's a super easy gameplay concept to adapt to, and fiendishly addictive with that 'One-More-Go' hook most commonly found in popular mobile titles. The clean visuals and peppy soundtrack add to that perception, although, thankfully, Jumping Joe & Friends lacks the monetised micro-transactions popular in that space; everything is unlockable in-game.

Supporting Joe and friends is a number of crate items along the way up, including a rocket that jumps up 50 floors, to an extra hat that gives one more hit before death, and a hazard-destroying bomb box. Coloured diamonds are littered along the path, increasing in currency the higher the player reaches, and this is the main currency of the game that can unlock new modes and purchase new playable characters, each with their own quirks and abilities. Using these characters in conjunction with the items adds a subtle layer of strategy, even if they are only minimal advantages.

Screenshot for Jumping Joe & Friends on Nintendo Switch

One mode outside of the standard arcade that keeps things level and fair, however, is the multiplayer aspect. Up to four people can race up a path via a choice of dozens of character designs, with optional variants to change time limits, number of rounds to win, and difficulty of enemy and hazard placements. Equally as basic as the standard rules of the game, this mode is a fun distraction that anyone of any age could easily pick up and play.

Making things somewhat more complex is Hero Mode that starts off with a ramped-up difficulty level instead of a usual gradual increase, and Race is relatively self-explanatory; reach as high as possible, as quickly as possible. These two modes have very minimal differences but offer enough variance to be fresh, yet across the board there is one notable omission: online support. With Arcade and Hero being more about the score, and Race focusing on the clock, some sort of online leaderboards would have given Jumping Joe & Friends a great deal more longevity. That being said, the game is already great at what it does; a low-cost, fun, easy to pick-up-and-play title on a system that promotes those aspects in spades.

Screenshot for Jumping Joe & Friends on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Very basic but highly approachable, with an addictive gameplay hook and cheap entry fee, Jumping Joe & Friends is a strong candidate for impulse purchasing on Nintendo Switch eShop, and offers more depth than its basic aesthetic would suggest. Online connectivity would have done wonders for potential replay value, but for pick-up-and-play Switch gaming, this one is hard to beat.

Developer

QubicGames

Publisher

QubicGames

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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