Dinosaur + Jetboots = Love.
When I was a young boy with no cares in the world, I played some cool platforming PC games. Stuff like Duke Nukem or Jazz Jackrabbit, side scrolling platforming titles that let you play a few levels or episodes before having to pay for the rest of it. Being a kid with no money, I would endlessly play these “short demos”, and had a blast. They were solidly built around these cool characters and their colorful worlds. So out of nowhere JumpJet Rex appears on STEAM, totally pulling on my heartstrings, and I absolutely love it.
There is a story about some space meteor that’s going to crash and destroy the world or something like that, but this isn’t what players will care about in the slightest. This is old school platforming all the way, with sublime movement in all directions. Rex can dash left or right for an extended time, can boost upwards toward the sky, use multiple jet boost jumps to reach new heights and can fall faster all at the touch of a few buttons. It’s all about getting into the flow, and once it clicks moving around the levels becomes easy, with players finding that concentration is key to getting into the zone.
Price I’d Pay: $9.99
Time to Beat: Three hours
The core mechanics are based around this entire premise of getting the levels down to perfection. While levels are fairly short, players will discover that beating a level nabs one star, but beating a level under a certain time or without dying can nab players an additional two stars. These star are used to unlock more levels and bosses battles. During runs through the levels some doors need to be unlocked and rings need to be moved through. This can create a sense of urgency, especially when trying for the speed time. Enemies are prevalent throughout, and get in the players way of trying to reach the goal.
Thankfully, checkpoints are abundant, and the first time through a level it’s always best to just explore, learn the level and enemy layout, and then attempt that second run to do better. Levels themselves offer enough variation, as some move the screen for the player to keep up in a linear fashion, while others offer a more open design to explore the nooks and crannies.
Visually it has a very retro appearance, with some great sprite based graphics and a soundtrack to go along with that. There’s nothing that really stands out as unique or different, but it does provide players with the feeling of playing those old platforming games which it obviously took inspiration from. It helps that everything comes together so well in execution. Folks that never had a chance to play older titles might not see it, but anyone that grew up in the 80’s will surely see the resemblance.
JumpJet Rex is a game that fits right in with an era that has passed us by. What it shows is that you can still have a charming, colorful, platform game based around boosting and jumping mechanics. The levels are quick to play but hard to master. Boss battles are fun, requiring timing and interesting was of using the mechanics. While Jump Jet Rex might not be the longest game ever, it’s hard to deny the amount of fun there is to be had with a Dino and a pair of jet boots.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.