Jumping Flash! is a first-person platform shooter co-developed by Exact and Ultra and published by Sony in 1995.
You play as a jumping robot, called Robbit, who must collect a number of “Jet Pods” (which look more like big carrots) on each level, then stand on the exit pad. This must be done within a strict time limit.
You can double jump by pressing the jump button at the apex of your first jump, and this is a key strategy of Jumping Flash! gameplay. You can also glide by holding the jump button while in mid air.
Various enemies will attack you if they’re nearby and you can shoot them with your regular weapon, or find and use special weapons on each level – like Cherry Bombs, rockets, and Roman Candles. Robbit can hold up to three individual special weapons at a time and they are used in the order they are collected (first in, first out).
Blasted enemies drop coins, which add to your score, and occasionally also drop power-ups. If you’re touched or shot by an enemy you lose health, and you lose a life if your health bar is depleted or if you fall off the play area.
Jumping Flash! features six different worlds, each with two stages and a boss battle. Bonus rounds are also available and must be found by jumping through a ring that says “bonus” on it. Bonus rounds involve racing against the clock, popping balloons and collecting coins, while trying not to fall off the play area. If you pop all of the balloons before the timer runs out then you’ll get an extra life, but that is really reserved for expert players as the time limits are much shorter than for regular levels.
The graphics in Jumping Flash! are fairly basic and a bit garish, but work well in the context of the surreal, cartoon nature of the game. The controls are easy to get your head around and the game is playable and reasonably challenging.
A time attack mode, where you must try to complete each level as quickly as possible, becomes available when you’ve unlocked each stage.
Jumping Flash! is still enjoyable to play now, some 26 years after its initial release, and is still held in fairly high regard by most who know it. It also spawned two sequels: Jumping Flash! 2, released in 1996, and Robbit Mon Dieu, released in 1999.