Bump ‘n’ Jump (NES)

Bump ‘n’ Jump Box Art

Bump ‘n’ Jump

System: NES

Release Date: December 1988

Developer: Data East, Sakata SAS

Publisher: Vic Tokai

Genre: Driving

It’s been nearly a year since we saw the team of Data East and Sakata SAS release a game on NES. This time, we have Bump ‘n’ Jump, another of my childhood games. Playing through this time, I realized how incredibly far I had to go to beat the thing.

Your girlfriend Pooper… errr… Popper is kidnapped by some hooligans that go by the moniker, the Jackals. You’re filled with great anger and begin pursuit. As you drive, other vehicles come on screen. Cars that are about the same size as yours can be bumped into barricades, water, and other obstacles to destroy them. A special maneuver that only you can pull off is the jump. If you’re going fast enough, you can get some great air and come down on top of the other cars, killing them in that way.

There are also larger vehicles that come from behind and drop items if they get in front of you. These can’t be bumped into the sides of the screen, but must be jumped on or avoided. You need to be ready to jump at a moment’s notice, because that’s all the warning you get before the end of the road. This is the gist of the game. Go forward really fast, jump when you have to avoid obstacles or kill baddies, and collect fuel. If you run out of fuel, you’re liable to die because you can no longer jump, but luckily if you get low, you can find a refueling station and be good to go.

There are 16 levels to go through in four different style stages. The seaside, the city, the country, and mountains. The levels are of varying length, with some being really small. Once you memorize the layouts of the stages, it’s super easy to get through. I’ll admit to liberally using rewind after giving it a couple honest shots, because I wanted to see if there really was a final boss. There is, and you have to jump on him a bunch of times to defeat him, then you save your girlfriend and it’s right back to the title screen!

Graphics: 1.5

The graphics aren’t great by any means, but I’ll give them credit for using more colors than most other developers.

Sound: 2.0

The sound is just fine in my eyes. I don’t mind the music and the sound effects aren’t shrill and awful.

Gameplay: 2.0

The gameplay is simple enough to work just fine. Kill the other cars, avoid dying yourself.

Difficulty: 2.0

You only have a few lives and extra lives take a lot of points to earn, so you need to memorize the stage layouts to win.

Fun Factor: 2.0

I had a fine time with this one. It’s not deep or anything, but it’s a fun, quick diversion.

Overall Grade: 1.9

Bump ‘n’ Jump earns a C. You don’t need to go out of your way to play this one, but it’s a fun little arcade game.

Bump ‘n’ Jump Video Review on YouTube