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Review: Jumping Finn Turbo (iOS)

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 by

jumping_finn_turbo_titleJumping Finn Turbo is a simple game in this newfangled “fling” genre. It doesn’t attempt to be much more than that, but is so very pure and well-made that it’s easy to overlook most of its shortcomings.

Even the story remains simple, as told through a few comic-style storyboards. The Ice King has kidnapped Princess Bubblegum, again. Finn, the great hero that he is, has to spring into action. But how should he there? His partner, Jake the Dog, has the idea to kick him in the butt as hard as he can to launch Finn towards the Ice King’s Castle. Sounds like as good a plan as any.

You’ll start off with just Jake and Finn. Each game has the same pattern, as you try to keep Jake from falling while fighting off penguins. Jake has a rechargeable air-kick for a short boost and can save a run once per game by bouncing Jake off his magical belly. It doesn’t go particularly well in the early going, as you’ll fly a few hundred miles your first time through. Each run earns you stars, though, that you’ll use to buy or level up skills. There are ten skills in all, and each will help extend your run.

The birds are the best elevator skill, as the others have downsides. Birds are all upside.

The birds are the best elevator skill, as the others have negatives. Birds are all upside.

The skills vary, though each row is remarkably similar. The top row are based upon Jake’s kicking powers. The second row skills are boosts that accelerate Finn and slow his descent. The final row are lift-skills that will stop Finn from falling AND raise him up. The elevator skills require more input, but they also have the additional bonus of invulnerability that will come in handy. Each skill brings something new to the table and enables you to get further in the game.

Expect to see Finn eat a lot of dirt in the early going.

Expect to see Finn eat a lot of dirt in the early going.

There really is nothing quite like palpable progress. While many games out there adopt systems where progress is minimal at best, Jumping Finn Turbo’s easy-to-feel progress system feels like a breath of fresh air. Of course, like a breath of fresh air, it doesn’t last long.

After you reach Ice King’s Castle and save Princess Bubblegum, which will take most players about an hour and a half, the only thing left to do is beat your old scores and finish leveling up any skills you haven’t already maxed out. Once that is done, what’s to keep you coming back for more? Basically, unless you’re into chasing leaderboards, there’s not a lot to do afterwards. Also, due to the frantic tapping after 90,000 miles, it’s possible to accidentally restart your game with as little as two misplaced taps. It’s only happened to me once, but that’s one time more than acceptable considering I was twelve minutes into a run.

However, what do you gauge such a game against? It’s fun, no doubt about it, but it also lasts a few hours at best for all but the most obsessive gamer. This is disposable, bite-sized gaming. But should we really hold that against the game? When put into real world terms, two dollars might get you a cheap hot dog and a handful of fries. However, in the world of mobile gaming, two dollars seems like twice what you should pay.

The sad truth is that, after games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope have provided insane levels of bang for your buck, this is the measuring stick of which we compare all other games. That is not the failing of the game, but how we, like Pavlov’s dog, have been conditioned and now only salivate when we see a game is ninety-nine cents and packed to the gills with content.

Jumping Finn Turbo merges the modern gaming trope of progress with the “one more game” play of classic quarter munchers to form a rewarding and addictive experience. Fans of the show will surely find Jumping Finn Turbo a great game to pass the time, whether they be children or adults.

4 star

(Jumping Finn Turbo was tested on both an iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. It is a universal app that features GameCenter achievements and leaderboards. This review is based upon Version 1.01. Fade to Slack fought the urge to use “mathematical” in the review more than once.)

About the Author

Fade to Slack is a founding member of Delta Attack, an American expatriate in South Korea, and a true believer in the legitimacy of mobile gaming. Keep up with him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Fade2Slack so he can justify having a Twitter account.

Fade to Slack has written 339 posts on Delta Attack
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  • Markham Asylum

    99-cent games… :-o~~~

    • Markham Asylum

      It made more sense before WordPress turned it into an emoticon, but you get the idea.

      • http://www.deltaattack.com/ Fade to Slack

        Was that vomit?

        • Markham Asylum

          Drool. Oppa Homer style.