What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jump Out! is a physics-based puzzle game featuring cute little cartoon bugs that you help escape from various environments. The bugs can die in a few different ways, either disappearing in a puff of smoke or curling up and shutting their eyes with a twitch, but there's nothing violent about their demise. The app does require a bit of logic and problem-solving, and controls are straightforward and easy to learn even without a tutorial.
What's it about?
The bugs are trapped and need to jump out of the box that's holding them. Players help the bugs, employing trajectory to propel the bugs past obstacles and to the exit. Different bugs have different abilities, and each level becomes a bit more challenging. The app connects to Facebook and Game Center, and kids can pay to unlock codes on a pay-what-you-want, donation-type basis.
Is it any good?
In JUMP OUT!, you rescue tiny bugs from cardboard boxes by flinging them between bottle caps and through the exits. There are a few types of bugs, each with its own abilities, and a host of obstacles and gizmos to make things more complicated. Later puzzles even include multiroom puzzles with pathways between them. Getting a single bug to the exit solves a level, but there are also three stars on each level to collect, adding replay value. Solve all of those? Then try advanced mode, which doesn't show the projected path and only gives an arrow meter for aiming.
The graphics in Jump Out! are excellent, a cartoony bug's-eye view of the world, and the various objects and obstacles are ingeniously designed. It would have been nice to have a better explanation of the indicators on the level select screen, showing how many stars you've collected, whether you've rescued all the bugs, and whether you've solved it in advanced mode. There are a few quirks -- when you switch to advanced mode, sometimes the status of a previously solved puzzle will backtrack. Overall, though, an excellent game for those who enjoy physics puzzlers.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how some games can teach powerful concepts like physics. What makes a learning game fun?
Create your own physics experiment on trajectory using rubber bands and a plastic bug toy or wadded up bit of paper (which is just more humane than an actual bug.)