Good artists copy, great artists steal! PAC’N-JUMP is a hybrid iPhone game combining the new jump & climb genre popularized on the iPhone platform by Doodle Jump with the classic Pac-Man game developed by Bandai Namco. I know what you’re thinking. Not another jumping game! Don’t worry, this one is actually creative and adds value to the genre enhanced with a ton of nostalgia. The pace in Pac’n Jump is fast and you eat pixel fruits and coins to fly faster and higher while you set off retro 8-bit PacMan sound effects filled with theme music. If you enjoyed Doodle Jump and Mega Jump, and miss playing Pac-Man, PAC’N-JUMP will be on your top played list in no time. It’s a perfect game to pick up and play when you have a few moments to burn.
So Doodle Jump was a game changer in the iPhone app market. Do you know how many other games have tried to copy its success? A quick search for “Doodle Jump” in the App Store returns over 350 derivatives with the name in their description. Lack of imagination makes them nothing more than excess weight for the App Store. It was a fun game and still is but seriously, how much of the same thing can we take? That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a developer taking the success of this game and adding their own innovative spin. I can already see other classics being ported over to the jump/climb format already. Can you imagine a Super Mario Bros, or Asteroids ported to jump on blocks? If that ever happens, we have Namco and PAC’N-JUMP to thank.
There are 4 stages in the PAC’N-JUMP game. The initial stage is where you start, and you can then unlock the Dig Dug, Rally X, and Galaga stages. It would be cool if there was a Ms. Pacman stage. You can exit the screen on one side and enter on the other side, just like the original game. The game has coins, and fruits to help propel you higher, and ghost enemy characters that you have to avoid. When you fall the bricks you jumped over are reduced in quantity. The game moves fast and you have to be on your toes, and a bit of luck can come in handy.
Controls let you modify the volumes and change language from English to French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese. The base controls use physics and respond to tilting the iPhone left or right. Other options are to use the analog pad, or a digital pad, although I would recommend sticking to tilt. Scores and leaderboards are stored on Game Center. A small bug I found is that sometimes even though you are above a piece, you don’t bounce off of it.
Overall, if you have not bought PAC’N-JUMP yet, do it. It’s one of those games you should not miss out on. To sweeten the deal, you get an iPad version as part of the universal binary download.
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