Jumpman, Atari 8-bit

Jumpman is an early platform game, released for the Atari 8-bit computer family in 1983 by Epyx.

It was written by Randy Glover after seeing and being inspired by Donkey Kong, and Glover succeeded in creating something fun and different for the time.

The premise is simple: collect all the rings to reach the next stage; avoid touching the baddies; and don’t fall too far. Follow those rules and you might make some progress.

The way Jumpman moves, jumps and climbs is excellent. He really is quite spritely (pun intended). He can grab onto ladders while in mid jump, and leap about with gay abandon. Jumpman was one of the earliest platform games to give players a control system that felt intuitive, rather than archaic, and the game certainly stands out because of that.

This first instalment in the series contains 32 different levels.

A cartridge-based sequel – called Jumpman Jr. – was released the same year, although it was more of a ‘cut-down’ version of the original for Atari owners who didn’t have disk drives.

More: Jumpman on Wikipedia

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