Usually, I don’t get too into mobile phone gaming. I have a Gameboy emulator and Pokemon on my cell and that’s about it. Mobile gaming for me usually was a Gameboy RPG…
However at a IDGA Twin Cities meetup last month, a young lady from Concrete Software stood up and briefly mentioned that they had just launched ‘Jellyflop‘ for android devices. I brought my partner to this and he actually chimed up, “I just downloaded it, it’s great!” My partner isn’t an avid gamer. I’ve been giving him Monkey Island, Broken Sword and stuff to get him off of some of the “waste of money games” he buys.
Back to my original point… So I downloaded Jellyflop on my tablet and started it up. Right away I was drawn in to the bright colors and cute art style. However, that’s not what drew me in, it was the STORY. That’s right, Jellyflop has a story. A jellyfish is swimming in the ocean minding his own business, when a flock of seagulls flies overhead. The jellyfish is amazed and after swimming underneath them for a bit, decides that he wants to fly. So in a uber cute nutshell, this game is about following your dreams (with kickass puzzles and physics)
As for the actual game play its simple yet cerebral. You draw little “rubber bands” for your jelly to bounce off of and collect feathers. Sounds simple, but its so much more than a one off thing. Each stage has 3 water drops and a feather. The feather is the goal, and the drops you collect for points, and in a rare case where I enjoy it, get hats. (I blame Team Fortress 2 for my loathing of hats now) However Jellyflop won me over by being adorable, challenging, and giving me a fez.
Now, while this is a casual game, it adds some great challenge and depth. The tutorial, unlike MOST triple A titles, does a fine job of teaching the player without insulting the players intelligence. There are brief pop-ups to explain when new features are added, like portals and fans, but for the most part, there is not a lot of hand holding.
The game has 20 stages per chapter, 5 chapters giving you a total of 100 stages. There are a total of 12 hats, some of them add little extra details to your jelly. When I’m not using the Fez, I use the Top Hat, so my jelly can look “Like a Sir”. For completion, unless you are a genius and get all water drops, every level, the first time, it’s gonna take you a while. Thankfully, it’s pick up and play and very fast on the loading.
As for the price? You notice how I didn’t mention anything? It free, but you can pay to remove ads if that really annoys you.
Now for what irks me: The idiots on the Google Play market. I really like this game, its more challenging than Angry Birds, doesn’t have absurdly invasive ads, and there are 35 morons on the market, who rated it 1 star because their phone wouldn’t play it or it was a “Its a peace of shet”. Personally, if you can’t take the time to use proper grammar and spelling, shut up.
Jellyflop is a great game with amazing physics. Concrete Software is on to something here, and I think they’ve got a winner on their hands with this one. Jellyflop sits on my tablets main page, right next to Final Fantasy 3. I’m giving Jellyflop a 5/5.
Josh Flaherty is an independent game designer from Minneapolis, MN and owner of Queuethulu Games LLC. He has worked on independent video games since 2003 and is passionate about the art of games, unique stories, and long walks down dark alleys. Visit Josh at his personal blog, http://vonshmoot.blogspot.com/ and also at Queuethulu Games Blog (personal game design blog) http://queuethulu.blogspot.com/. You can follow him on Twitter as well @SWTZMBEJESUS. To contact Josh, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.