Jump Legends is a wildly difficult side-scroller with a twist [Reviews]

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Yes, another frustrating game that'll keep you coming back.
Photo: Fabled Realm

Jump Legends is a new adventure game for iOS with something very interesting going for it. Your character is an adventurer that’s traveling and jumping through various obstacles to collect different rewards and treasures.

Ultimately, your only responsibility in the entire game is to simply tap so your character jumps as needed. In Jump Legends, this proves extremely challenging because your journey changes every single time you lose.

I was first intrigued by the game demo because the retro design and gameplay somewhat took me back to the days of playing Super Mario Bros., except from a completely different perspective. Jump Legends is only part side-scroller because, while your path does continuously scroll through, your adventurer faces at a forward angle. It’s a curious design choice but works fine.

Once I started playing, I realized Jump Legends is like a combination of Super Mario Bros. and Mr Jump, the addictive iOS game that we named one of our best Apple TV games of 2015.

After you choose your Jump Legends character — only two are unlocked to boot — the game walks you through a tutorial on how to play. Here’s the thing: The tutorial alone is brutally difficult. I’m ashamed to admit it took me 20 minutes of nonstop attempts to get through.

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The same level played with completely different challenges.
Photo: Fabled Realm

I’m not sure if it’s my fault or the game’s fault. I’m thinking it’s a little of both. The adventurer is in a constant running and climbing state. And when you tap, he jumps either onto a higher platform, over an endless pit, or over an obstacle. The jumping and climbing were sometimes glitchy, but not so much that you lose track.

The physics for jumping isn’t super-realistic either; it feels very similar to Flappy Bird. But I’m always hesitant to criticize these types of UI/UX issues because they’re nothing a software update can’t fix.

Surprisingly, after the tutorial Jump Legends gets a bit easier and definitely more fun, though it’s still pretty hard. What I love so much about the game is a huge twist: You’ll never get the same obstacle course twice. If you slip through the cracks and have to restart the game, the obstacles will be totally different. Even the animations and effects are different, which makes gameplay nothing short of amazing. It’s not like Mr Jump in that you have to memorize the patterns. Here, it’s all skill and wit.

Stars are placed sporadically throughout the game, typically in harder-to-reach places so you have to jump for them. They are almost like an in-game currency. After every round, the stars you collect add up. You can save up to unlock new characters, but keep at it — the first locked adventurer is worth 100 stars.

The challenging but addictive Jump Legends for iPhone and iPad is free and available now in the App Store, though there are in-app purchase options to remove ads or get more stars.