I was a huge fan of Super Mario and Islander on the first video game console I ever owned and in my gaming journey since, have had a soft spot for platformers. Also, in the years since, I have become more of a mobile gamer and appreciate games which I can pick up, enjoy for a small amount of time and put down. Mario, as announced in September, will make his way to iOS next month (and Android after that) but in his absence, there has been a franchise that has been holding the platformer flag high on mobile devices for quite a few years. I’m talking about the Mikey series of games from BeaverTap Games and with the recent launch of their latest, Mikey Jumps, they have taken everything that made their previous games (Mikey Shorts, Mikey Hooks and Mikey Boots) tick, rolled it into a nice package, tied a bow around it and gifted it to platformer enthusiasts on iOS (like other Mikey games, I think that Mikey Jumps will make its way onto Android soon).
Art style reminiscent of the adventures of a certain plumber, highly accurate controls that test your reflexes, game mechanics that lead to gameplay which is highly enjoyable in short bursts and a background tune that causes a wave of nostalgia every time you hear it, what more do you want? In Mikey Jumps, BeaverTap Games takes the gameplay mechanics they introduced in previous games (the jumping bit from Mikey Shorts, the swinging bit from Mikey Hooks and the gravity boots from Mikey Boots) and brings them together in a 20-level spanning, coins and stars collecting quirky platformer which tests your reflexes and is the right mix of fun and difficulty.
Each level is divided into 10 sub-levels where you jump, swing and fly your way to the star at the end and collect coins on the way. If you hit a spike, a pesky critter or fall to your demise, you start the level again from the first sub-level and make your way up to the 10th. The art of the levels is great. The foreground consists of your character and the other bits of the level and they go well over the blurred background which takes you through a lot of places like the inside of a volcano, forests, snowy mountains, etc. There are six characters to choose from and the coins that you collect across levels help unlock hats, enhancements for your character’s face, ropes and trails for your gravity boots. Mikey runs on his own and you tap with varying frequency and intensity to make him/her jump, swing and fly. Simple and addictive.
I downloaded Mikey Shorts (it’s available for free and has a couple of in-app purchases) a couple of days ago and have been playing it in short bursts in my downtime since. It is a fun platformer with a lot of variety to keep you hooked (Mikey pun) for a while. Do check it out.
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