Anooki Jump in Review – Yes, We Do Need Another Jumping Game

Every time I start up a new “infinite jump” game, the first thing I ask myself is “do we really need another infinite jump game?”  Unfortunately, by and large the answer to that question ends up being no.  Thankfully, however, there are times where a game manages to elude the negative response to the aforementioned query, and Anooki Jump is one such game.  The developers of Anooki Jump have managed to turn simplicity into art, and in the process made an extremely entertaining game as well.  Move over Doodle Jump, Anooki is the infinite jumper for me.

I think this is one of those games that deserve discussing the visuals first.  The background is a solid color, the majority of the blocks that you bounce on are simple squares, and even the characters are basically complex silhouettes.  Despite all that, Anooki Jump manages to be an extremely appealing game visually.  There are a couple of little effects like when you pick up the flower or the withering ice block melts, but the game seems to rely more on your brain filling in the blanks for the details and actually succeeds.

The sounds are equally simplistic.  The characters giggle a little when they’re doing something fun, and most special blocks make some sort of noise when you land on them.  As with the visuals, it just works.  What’s even more intriguing is that there is no music, save for the simple note played each time you land on a basic block.  Quite often the lack of background tunes would bother me, especially in a game like this, but the individual notes actually enhance the atmosphere in this case.

So does the game play live up to the aesthetics?  I certainly think so.  You play two Eskimos trying to climb ever higher in this world of ice blocks and other things.  All you have to do is tilt the device left and right to move, although you do have to shake to free yourself from the ink blot should you get trapped in it.  Otherwise, the game pretty much handles everything else for you.  There are obstacles like half melted blocks that disappear when you land on them or bombs that temporarily disorient you and impede your progress.  On the other hand, balloons and stars give you a second or two of hassle free ascent.

What’s real interesting about the game is that you control both Eskimos.  You start off with one, and whenever you see the other you can land on his board to switch places.  This is actually imperative eventually, because over time you lose health and if your health gets down to nothing the game is over.  The other way to replenish your health is to land in certain boxes with a heart next to them.  Not only will these boxes fill your health but they’ll shoot you up a few levels.  If playing simply for the fun of it isn’t enough, Game Center and OpenFeint integration provide leaderboards and achievements.  You can even brag over Facebook and Twitter if you like.

There’s not much else to say here.  Anooki Jump does everything a good ‘infinite jumper” should, it adds a couple of new elements to make it distinct, and it captures a look and sound that is both simple and incredible.  I don’t know if this is the best in the genre, but it is certainly a top contender.

App Summary
Title: Anooki Jump Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req: 3.1
Price: $0.99 App Size: 16.8 MB
  • Simple, addictive game play
  • Two character simultaneous action
  • Innovative life meter
  • Awesome sounds and visuals
  • I want my life back


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