Spring: Jump and slash your way to greater heights!
Spring, the title and the cover graphics suggest the season before summer though perhaps the title is more the verb: ‘to spring’ because jumping is what you’ll be doing a lot of in this ‘doodle jump’ alike game. FluorGames have added their own innovations to the ‘jump as high as you can’ genre though but do the innovations cause this game to leap into the stratosphere or does it plunge into new depths? Read on to find out…
Jump as high as you can! If you’ve ever played ‘Doodle Jump’ or ‘Mega Jump’ then you’ll know what this game is about. Your character jumps whenever they touch a platform and it is your job to tilt the phone to see that they land feet first on whatever foothold they can find. Death is only ever a miscalculated jump away however, miss the platforms and you’ll fall into the abyss. Just jumping however does tend to get dull so an ever increasing number of enemies with varying abilities will attack you, some deviants lurk on platforms while others shoot at you (why they hate you so much is never explained in the game). Attacking is simple, tap on the screen to attack. Attacks can be directional too depending on which position on the screen on which you tap. Should you be hit by enemies however, your character will flash. You start with 3 lives, lose them all and you’re toast.
Sound simple so far? That’s because it is. At the core of the numerous jumping games on Google Play is a very simple system which can get repetitive; Spring’s developer has obviously realised this so has decided to spice things up. First comes the ‘chain collection system’ on many platforms you’ll find various power-ups which you can collect to help boost your character’s abilities. Life’s hard though in Spring world, and there’s no free lunch – in order to successfully collect any power up you have to collect 4 of the same power up (each power-up has a distinctive colour such as blue, yellow, red) in sequence. Subsequent collections of the same item increases the amount of times you can use the collected ability and if you chain 8 in a row you will be rewarded with a mini-boost jump. Collecting a different colour power-up will break the chain so be careful. Spring provides a fairly basic set of power-ups ranging from super-jump boosts and mid-air jumps to powering up your projectile weapon so that it will do a spray shot as opposed to the measly single shot. It’s worth mentioning here that there are 2 distinct characters for you to choose, a magical girl of sorts ‘Rosie’, and a Dragonball Z Super Saiya-jin ‘Briar’. Pleasingly each character is not just a token cosmetic change but will actually provide you with different power ups leading to a bit more variety in game play. In addition, each character has a different attack with which to attack enemies – Briar wields a sword and can only hit enemies who are close by while Rosie fires projectiles of some description. Choosing characters is pretty much down to play style as their abilities do differ significantly, though I personally preferred playing with Briar as I found his melee attack more effective against enemies I jumped into.
Graphics wise Spring’s character’s and enemies are drawn well and animations are smooth enough for a game of this type. Rosie’s jump animations are smooth and her jumping reminds me very much of a mountain gazelle jumping from ledge to ledge. Backgrounds are nice but a little bland (a consequence of having to jump into the sky) but perhaps the biggest visual weakness are the uniformly sized platforms in every level which leads to most levels looking similar even though the backgrounds do differ significantly. Menus are functional, clear and responsive.
Music and sound effects
Music or lack thereof is perhaps the biggest gripe with Spring. Jumping games are repetitive by nature so to not have any uplifting music to accompany the quest for the sky definitely detracts from the experience. The developer has also taken a very minimalist approach with sound effects too, choosing to only play sounds when you collect a power-up or get shot at by an enemy. No ‘boing’ when you jump from a platform or a cry of pain if you get shot at by an enemy. So unfortunately though the game’s visuals are good, the lack of sound really does to my mind makes the game feel unfinished and allows apathy to set in with the game more quickly.
There are 2 basic game modes in Spring. Arcade mode has a singular none-ending level have you chase a high score – the higher you get, the more chain-power ups you collect all add to your high score. Unfortunately for you high-score chasers Spring does not implement any online score leaderboards which does take away from the replayability of this mode. Campaign mode has you clear a series of finite height levels introducing new backgrounds and enemies on the way. The difficulty curve of the game however is somewhat slight – level after level will go by and other than levels getting longer the difficulty (i.e. more enemies/sparser platforms) seems to increase at a very slow pace. ‘Campaign’ is aptly named in this case as Spring is a lengthy game! For replayability we have the de facto 3 star rating system for each level which is calculated by your score in each level – i.e. get more chains, destroy more enemies leads to a higher score. Level designs however, are slightly uninspiring and rarely hits a point where you have to take risks to complete a level. A lack of story of any description also adds to the weariness of going through the campaign – we will never find out why the bugs/hedgehogs in the game have such hate for poor Briar and Rosie, or indeed why they’re jumping in the first place.
Verdict: 2.5/5 – Spring is a solid but unspectacular game despite the innovations such as the chain-collection mechanics and different character types. The pleasing graphics and animations are unfortunately offset by a lack of ambition on the (admittedly lengthy) campaign and the baffling lack of music. If you’re a fan of doodle jump then you could do worse than checking this game out as an enjoyable time filler.
Spring Tips from Android Games Review
- Play with both characters! Both Briar and Rosie have their own unique abilities
- If you find the tilt too sensitive the menu gives you the option of changing the sensitivity
- As you don’t get ‘knocked back’ when you hit an enemy you can make a tactical judgement call to lose a life but still carry on jumping
- If you’re low on health prioritise collecting the green power-ups which will restore your health
- If you collect 8 power-ups in a row you will get a mini-boost
- Rosie’s shots can be directional, tap in the direction you want her to shoot relative to the center of the screen
- Briar can use a useful combo if you tap 3 times in a row which cause him to slash in a roll which can take out enemies underneath you. (though better to slash as you jump into them from below)
Developers: Fluor Games
- Price = 0.65