When Matthew Smith's Manic Miner came out, all those years ago, a glut of software companies wanted to copy the idea. Fast forward a year and there were more Manic Miner rip-offs than anyone knew what to do with, and the whole concept became tired. Jumpin' Jupiter is yet another one in the exact same style, the only real difference is that Miner Willy is replaced by a chunky-looking spaceman sprite. He has to collect the cups of tea and a key to open the exit door on each screen. And each screen includes the usual array of patrolling nasties that he has to jump over, or avoid in some other way.
Unlike the classic Manic Miner, in Jumpin' Jupiter, it's all very easy indeed. This is one of those games that I get the feeling could even be completed first time if you really concentrated.
There's a beeper tune in the background and about the best that can be said for the whole thing is that it certainly put the 'retro' into a retro game. This is computer entertainment circa 1983, chugging along with very little imagination at all. The routes through each of the screens are easily fathomed, and the extremely generous amount of lives (nine!) means you can be as reckless as you please. You don't even need to walk through the door; it recognises your presence as soon as soon as you touch it.
Although it pains to me to say it, this is a game for children rather than seasoned retro gamers, who will obviously have seen it all before. It's not only inferior to Manic Miner, it's also inferior to a lot of Manic Miner clones. Still, it's a great game for youngsters to cut their teeth on - my niece (aged 6) loved it and had much more difficulty puzzling out what to do than I did. Oh, and as an aside, it was written using the little-known Platform Game Designer (released by Cronosoft).