The Arkedo Series — originally developed for Microsoft's Indie Games channel by Arkedo Games, and ported to the PS3 by Sanuk Games — epitomises that straight-forward premise.
The first in a series of back-to-basics gameplay ideas, Jump is an old-school puzzle platformer with a pleasingly retro visual style. Playing as an eight-bit impersonation of Indiana Jones, you must hop through thirty contrived platform environments, gathering together treasure and defusing bombs. Only when you've defused each level's bombs can you progress to the next. And of course, being a video game, you won't always be alone.
Nasty crabs, hand-jiving skeletons and sleeping snakes will all be out to sour your casual tropical treasure hunt, so you'll need to make deft use of the game's floaty hop mechanic to maneuver yourself to safety.
As simplistic as the gameplay is, Arkedo's done a fine job creating a tantalising variety of stages that consistently challenge from start-to-finish. With the introduction of new mechanics — such as transparent blocks and bunsen burners — the game maintains a fresh approach from start-to-finish.
It's packed with personality too. Level names and death notices are bustling with the kind of self-referential humour that frequent Internet users will enjoy, though the game's overarching retro joke falls flat when it haplessly declares, "If only retro games had continues," before sending you back to level one. Yup, the joke's on you Jump.
But the game is generally happy-go-lucky enough to withstand such a mild irritation, and with the game playable from start-to-finish in under an hour, it's hardly the most first-clenching of problems.
Buoyed by a price-point slimmer than a Happy Meal and a soundtrack more colourful than Ronald McDonald's hair, Jump is an imperative addition to your PlayStation Network library.
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