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Dragon Jumper

Published by Astatix Software
Price $14.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

I always have difficulty with game reviews, because I never know how to start them. Normally I'd begin by describing the background to a game but Dragon Jumper is so simple a concept that no background is necessary. You're a dragon. You jump. Beyond that I'm not sure what to say. No rescue attempts, no quest for glory, no supreme evil villain to vanquish.

One small step for a dragon... giant leap for dragonkind.

The aim (such as there is one) of Dragon Jumper is simply to collect gems. To proceed across a pond full of lily pads that rise and fall, collecting food along the way, and reach a gem on the other side. Since your dragon cannot swim it is important not to get caught on a lily pad that's sinking fast. And your dragon needs a LOT of food to keep his strength up. I'm talking a meal a minute here.

Controls, like the concept itself, are very straightforward. Hop with the arrow keys from one lily pad to another. Make your way from one corner of the pond to the other without falling in the water and while grabbing snacks to keep you going. Watch out for the time limit too. As levels increase the number of lily pads increases too, but there's no danger of hopping too far.

Our hero regrets learning not to swim.

For this game the graphics are aimed squarely at 'cute'. They seem rather basic but I imagine this is intentional. Some nice touches are the enormous variety of 'food' items that appear, from fruit to candy bars to plates of cookies and more. It is very fast paced and this keeps things smooth. Sometimes though the speed does seem a little fast and this makes later levels in particular rather difficult.

The cute feel is taken further by the sound effects and music. I did find the title music rather, erm, short. I'd guess it's about fifteen seconds or so on a repeating loop. Fortunately, the in-game music is both longer and more pleasant, accompanying rather than distracting from the gameplay. The sound effects fit the game style perfectly. With the exception of the title music, this is an area in which Dragon Jumper does particularly well.

I get the impression that Dragon Jumper is aimed at a younger audience. The simple controls, cutesy graphics and so on all suggest 'children' but the demo difficulty curve is pretty steep. If this is aimed at a younger player than myself I doubt they would persevere. Everything is very fast paced and time limits are tight, which can cause problems on higher levels.

Overall, this is a cute game with a simple concept behind it, and would do very well if it were to make itself easier on the kiddies who are the most likely audience.

Graphics 50%
Sound 75%
Playability 80%
Longevity 40%
Overall Score 60%
Bronze Star

Published on 04 Jul 2003
Reviewed by Andrew Williams

Keywords: dragon jumper review, astatix software reviews, astatix software games, dragon jumper scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.