App of the day: The Jump: Escape The City review (iPhone)
Reactions at the ready: The Jump is one of those fast-paced titles where, under the guise of escaping the city in a hovercar, you'll need to use those thumbs to quickly dive left and right between lanes to avoid debris, flames and jump gaps in the road - all while hitting speed-up pads on the road to evade capture. Think Temple Run meets WipEout and you're most of the way there.
The Jump: Escape The City
The Jump is one good-looking title. It's also a tough title. You'll think you've learnt to navigate the various obstacles - some of which are craftily hidden gaps that you'll fall down again and again - before repeatedly ploughing into walls and seeing your demise well before you'd hoped.
On each run you'll want to gather up 65 power cells - shown as green orbs on the track - which are strategically positioned to be, well, tricky to hoover up while staying on track.
If you do crash or fall down a gap then that's it - game over. Unless, of course, you use up coins to save your bacon and get back on the road. This seems logical, yet you'll tend to earn only around 200 or so coins per game and the initial 3,000 coin "rescue" - which then increments to 5,000, 10,000, 25,000 and beyond on each additional rescue per run - becomes out of reach. And here comes the inevitable "freemium" model: you can buy extra coins using real cash which will help you advance further in a single race.
But we weren't playing ball with that. See, The Jump: Escape The City doesn't demand that you buy - literally - into it. It's still a grand five minutes of fun to dip in and out of to test your reactions and get the heart pumping. It's a good slice of gaming fun and is free to download in the first instance.
If you're savvy with saving up those coins then there are other power-ups which can be purchased ahead of each race - including invincibility, a one-off resurrection, a power boost which trims back the target number of power cells, a shield to assist in evading capture and a 30-second magnet that can suck-up those power cells without getting too near to some of the more fretting obstacles. A swipe down will load them up to be activated mid-race.
We say that The Jump is five minutes of fun, but it's easy to get hooked. We've been attempting the run again and again to get that bit further down the track and, ultimately, escape the city - something we've yet to do after a long weekend of repeated failures.Â
There's a thumping soundtrack - courtesy of DJ Poet - to keep the heart pumping, the choice of two characters and various badges to achieve that can all add to the fun.
A one-off Â£1.49 "Go Pro" purchase is a fair investment - the game remains the same, but you'll get 100,000 coins, a permanent power boost power-up as well as story, comic art and track maps. If that's the single payment made for a game that will keep you dipping back in for those escapist moments on your commute then we think The Jump represents a handful of pennies well spent - just avoid ploughing bags of real cash into the game and we think there's fun to be had here.