Every few months or so I allow myself a little indulgence: An itty-bitty gaming app to while away the idle hours. I look for games that are immersive and challenging, yet nothing that requires weeks/months/years of commitment. Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies, and World of Goo have all been a part of my mini gaming collection. And now, Jumpin’ Jackabee (free) joins that group.
Jumpin’ Jackabee is a beautifully designed, incredibly addictive action puzzler that captures the spirit of the 1980s Q-bert arcade game within a gorgeous world of its own.
You are Jackabee, a cute, rabbit-like creature, and your goal is to hop along a floating block structure, gobble up apples, power-ups, and other goodies, find hidden stars, and eventually hop down a hole that leads you to the next level. While this sounds simple enough, you have to do this while avoiding an increasingly serious series of baddies all of which are bent on doing you harm.
There are eighteen worlds for you to unlock, each more challenging than the next. The first fourteen worlds can be entered each time you complete the previous level, but the stars you collect along the way are the key to unlocking the last four worlds. So, while it’s possible to continue from one level to the next without collecting each level’s stars, you’ll need to go back and find them if you want to complete the game without resorting to an in-app purchase.
While I love Jumpin’ Jackabee, I was disappointed to find that my game progress wasn’t synced between iOS devices. It would have been great to go from playing on my iPad to playing on my iPhone without skipping a beat. Other than that, Jumpin’ Jackabee is a nearly perfect—but perfectly addictive—game.