Soviet Jump Game is a 2D side-scrolling Battle Royale which is inspired by the Soviet Union Dendy (a Taiwanese clone of the Nintendo Entertainment System). It was released for early access on steam on the 9th January 2020.
It was released to a fairly mixed reception due to the elaborate marketing campaign involved in building towards revealing it. Arin Hanson (also known as Egorator), the founder and co-host of Game Grumps (who also published the game) teased the game through a series of videos which you can check out by clicking here. Throughout these videos he appeared to have discovered a forgotten or lost piece of gaming history, however as I have suggested these videos which entertaining turned out to be scripted events leading to them releasing Soviet Jump Game. This has slightly divided Game Grumps fan base also known as ‘Lovelies’ some of whom appreciated the innovative idea for introducing the game, while others who were not used to this specific type of advertising from The Grumps felt deceived. Either way, the game is available now on Steam and we will be reviewing it, please bear in mind though that this is an early access review, and the information contained within is subject to change.
So let’s start off with what’s good about it, I’ve found it to be an enjoyable game, it pays homage to 8bit era gaming while still being recognisably distinct. I’ve seen other people call it a Mario rip-off or clone and while I disagree with it being a rip-off I will admit that it contains elements of Mario and similar games. But a lot of those types of games share similar overtones, after all as Mark Twain says: “There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope”. So I don’t think that these familiar aspects can be counted as a negative, and in fact your potential familiarity with the core concepts might give you a heads up in the game.
I also really enjoyed the music, it works really well within the game and is good on its own but then again I’ve always been partial to video game music so maybe that’s just me. But at least I can say honestly for me, the music is part of the appeal of the game.
The visuals are also impressive, it’s emulating an older style of games that are appealing to look at even though they are simplistic. It also taps into that nostalgia feeling you get when you look at those retro 8bit games. The animation style is a little tougher than I would have expected but it’s not bad, and it fits with the 8bit aesthetic as well as the narrative that this is a discovered game from the former Soviet Union.
The power ups are fun, not always easy to use, at their are some glitches to be worked out but I enjoy using them and they add some variability to the gameplay.
I also like that it clearly has a team of hardworking developers supporting it. Not only is this obviously from the game itself but it already had updates fixing issues, so they are obviously invested in making sure that the players have the best and smoothest experience possible.
So I enjoyed the core gameplay, and the looks and sounds. That’s just about everything that makes up a game but It does have its negatives and I’ll cover those now.
Firstly, I would like a separate mode where you can get to grips with the gameplay, a practice mode or an offline mode, just so you can see what’s what and what you can do. This rush in approach may appeal to some gamers but it’s just not something I like, especially when competing with other people.
This next problem could be and probably will be solved by the time it moves out of early access but it’s kind of laggy especially if you have a lot of players in your lobby. It still runs and is still playable which already makes it better than some other games but it makes it harder to enjoy, and is another reason why I would like the practice/offline mode I mentioned above.
This kind of comes under the whole it’s still buggy and new thing but the menus especially feel a little awkward at times. I haven’t had as much of a problem as I’ve seen other people have but it’s still an issue. However again this is still something that will probably be fixed in a future update.
So Soviet Jump Game is a decent enough game, it’s well worth playing and has the potential to get even better. It has its rough aspects and not everyone was happy about how it was promoted but for an early access game it’s a fun game which harkens back to retro style gaming and with what appears to be a dedicated development team, if you report glitches they’ll even get fixed. So with that in mind, I think I’ll give Soviet Jump Game a 7/10 and reserve further judgement until I’ve played it more and until I see a more finished product.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/