Jool is a bit of a trip. I dove into this one knowing nothing about it, and after playing it for quite a few hours I know just as little as before. Jool is a one-finger platformer, where your character (a J-shaped…bird…thing) is jumping around trying to collect items, for reasons left unknown. I suspect it’s the same reason why some people feel the sudden urge to slice produce in half in Fruit Ninja: because it’s there.
It’s a lot like the glut of Jump-titled games we’ve seen over the course of the iPhone’s life (PapiJump, Froggy Jump, etc.), but sideways and with a twist. The world is an endless landscape divided into heaven-like sky platforms above and underworld-esque demon platforms down below. You tap the screen to flap yourself around, picking up items that do (slightly) different things. One makes you bigger, one makes you smaller, one makes the platforms bounce.
When you lose focus or just plain flub a jump too badly, you’ll fall between the platforms to the level below. Fall off of those and you can (with the help of a Flip item) turn into the red-colored “evil” version of yourself, which for some reason jumps like a ballerina and giggles.
Where Jool really shines is in the presentation. It may be the same things over and over again, but it’s never boring and it’s always pleasing to the eye. I had no problem playing this game for hours on end, happily tapping the hours away. The twists and endings show off Jool‘s excellent animations, and it’s almost worth it to die on purpose just to see a new death movie. You can also get all the endings unlocked and viewable with an in-app-purchase, but I was perfectly fine with the standard content.
Is it worth it? Perhaps. If you want something casual that doesn’t require a lot of play time to get your rewards out of it, then this might be for you. It might not have a lot of depth, but sometimes that’s a good thing, and Jool is just quirky and different enough to make it a fun distraction.
A review copy of this game was provided to us by the developer.