On the surface, Super Nano Jumpers seems like a pretty good hardcore platformer. In the vein of Super Meat Boy and so many others of that ilk, it’s simple to learn yet incredibly difficult to master. That all sounds pretty promising, right?
It is and it isn’t. Super Nano Jumpers ends up a little too samey and repetitive to maintain interest for too long.
Controls are immensely simple. Tap on the right hand side of the screen to jump, while a tap on the left side causes your little guy to stop in his tracks. A combination of the two is possible and indeed necessary after a time, causing you to stop dead mid jump and immediately land on the ground. There are no on screen controls to block your view, although do expect your fingers to occasionally get in the way of what’s unfolding. It’s the kind of thing that means you’ll figure out Super Nano Jumpers in seconds, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at it.
Precise leaps at just the right moment are everything here. Get the timing momentarily out, and odds are you’re going to hit a spike or two throwing you back to the start of the sequence. There’s almost a kind of rhythm here and practice certainly makes perfect as you figure out exactly when you need to jump again. There are coins to collect too, which ultimately affect your chances of gaining the all important three stars. In each case, die and you’re flung back to the earlier section immediately (although, there’s no restart level button) so at least your only punishment is losing a little pride.
Each level can, theoretically, be finished in a matter of seconds but oftentimes, it’s going to take a lot longer. Every time, you have the potential of gaining up to 3 stars for an effective completion. You lose stars based on how long it’s taking you to complete a stage, as well as how many lives it’s costing you, and how many coins you find along the way. Refreshingly, you see the stars vanish as you screw up, meaning you always know exactly what’s expected of you.
It’s a neat touch that gives you some control over what’s going on. Similarly, being able to ‘stop’ mid jump is a mechanic I’d like to see in more auto runners of this ilk. It adds to the challenge well and soon becomes a very valuable skill when traversing many of the stages.
Where Super Nano Jumpers struggles, however, is it’s not overly compelling. Early on, levels are a little too samey, meaning you’ll feel like you’re completing similar moves way too often. New challenges come along eventually, but Super Nano Jumpers’s pacing isn’t quite right, meaning you’ll mostly be sticking around for the sake of it rather than because it’s exciting. The lack of a quick restart button is an issue for those keen to ‘perfect’ a level too.
The latter stages might be worth sticking around for, and there are plenty of them (75 levels in all), but without the impetus to keep going, few players will remain that patient for that long. While Super Nano Jumpers’s control system might be pretty great at what it’s trying to accomplish, there’s just not enough variety here to keep you hooked.