Saturday, June 4, 2022

Bump 'n' Jump

Name:Bump 'n' Jump/Burning Rubber
Publisher:Data East
Developer:Data East
Time:1 hour

Its quite a trip coming back from an accidental hiatus of chronological games. I think I intended myself to come back feeling refreshed, but now I just feel put upon. At this point all the games I kept trying to play were unavailable, unplayable, or unenjoyable. It feels like a stroke of luck to reach a game that reaches that lofty goal. Thus, Bump 'n' Jump, or as it was originally known, Burning Rubber.

Starting it up I am greeted by a relatively standard-looking top down racer. One is to bump into other cars and jump over gaps in the road, hence the title. The objective is to reach the end of a particular section of track, labelled pattern here. This task is made difficult by the sheer number of other insane drivers on the road and how many bridges seem to have fallen into the water, to say nothing of the twisty terrain and other random debris.
So I tried playing it the way its intended to be played, or at least how I think. By trying to get other cars off the road so I have free reign. That...didn't work well. Yeah, turns out that the whole bumping thing is a good way to get killed. Bumping into other cars causes both cars to bounce off for a certain distance, which means if you aren't smart about it, you will knock yourself into a wall. Its only when I gave up on trying to play it properly did I actually start passing stages.
Herein lies my problem with the game. The way to successfully play the game is to drive defensively, hitting other cars is mostly pointless. (One also takes advantage of the jump button to jump over obstacles and enemies) That's basically what I have to do whenever I drive anyway, which makes it seem not like fun, but work to me. And I don't particularly care for that, so...
A simple and very dangerous crashing attack. 0/10

A bevy of cars that probably have more clever things going under the hood than I give them credit for. 1/10


There's a selection of blocks as it were that repeat throughout the game. One supposes that's just par for the course for a racing game of this style, but it feels quite limited to see the same thing every level. Even if technically some realistic racing game has tracks that are similar to each other, it doesn't feel as bad. 1/10

Player Agency:
It works pretty much how you'd expect. One thing I liked is that at full speed you aren't at the top of the screen, just the halfway point. 4/10



There's not really a lot you can do to make a top-down racing look interesting. There are no special animations you can pop in, because the only parts that are moving are either hidden or wheels. The whole thing looks surprisingly like a NES game. 2/10


Speaking of being like a NES game, it sounds like one. It works, and there's music, but its just not memorable. 2/10

Somehow this managed to get a 10.

This marks two occasions, the first, 100 games since I left Galactic Empire unfinished, we'll be returning to that no matter what when I reach '90 on FPS, and end it either way. The second, despite having been at the halfway point 2 games ago, 1982 is now down to 9 games. Half are arcade titles and half are home computer releases, and at this point I'm unlikely to have any issues getting these games to run.

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