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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Friday Free Game: Jelly Jumper

I might go so far as to call Jelly Jumper a nearly quintessential Friday Free Game. It's super-simple, nice to look at, and is set up in bite-sized levels that makes you feel like you can play as little or as much as you want. Jump your little green guy around a keyboard (the same Logitech keyboard I am writing this on, actually). Each level is a puzzle, and you try to get to the green keys in as few jumps as possible, avoiding red bomb keys, using teleporting yellow keys, and super-bouncy orange keys. Once you learn to follow the little globby guy's reflection in the surface of the keys, it's pretty easy.

If you finish the first 10 levels, you get 20% off Logitech products — if you happen to live on the side of the Atlantic that I don't. But the best part is, you can keep going, and the game isn't that easy anymore. You might find yourself trying the same level a bunch of times, to do it perfectly, just because you want that little globe to be green and not yellow.

The little things in this game go a long way. The music is engaging but not distracting, the character is a high-quality 3D render, and the game offers a finely-tuned challenge – the level design is varied and scales nicely. I also love the fact that there are only four keys you need to play the game and that they used left and right arrows to replay and advance levels. You don't have to move your hand. Little things like let you know that they tested the thing and smoothed out the rough edges before they released it.

I'm happy to recommend Jelly Jumper as an elegantly presented and downright fun little game. But I can't bring myself to recommend the keyboard; it looks great and has decent feel, but I find it frustrating that they arbitrarily removed the insert key. Back in The Day, we used Control-Insert and Shift-Insert for copy and paste.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.