Watch Me Jump Review
Originally a stage play, Jeremy Gable tells a tale in four quarters with his basketball-themed tale Watch Me Jump. Heavy on story, does this title make the transition to the digital realm with grace?
Watch Me Jump Review
The main character of the game, Audra Bee Mills, isn’t exactly who you would call a protagonist. Though she may be the star forward of the Minnesota Lynx basketball team, she’s got a bit of a problem on her hands. Not only does she have a problem with alcohol, she also has a propensity for violence. Both of these things come to a head during an incident at a hotel a few months before the finals. Word quickly comes out that she has an offer from Russia to play over there, which makes things that much more awkward between her, her agent, and her two coaches. With the finals upon them, this incident has reared its ugly head once again and threatens the lives of everybody around her.
There’s no denying that this is a good hook – the character flaws of the main character adversely affect everybody else in this tale. However, the entirety of the game is less than an hour long, giving little time for anybody but the main character. Sure, the assistant coach might talk about his love of gin or a hostess will talk about her past, but there’s just not enough runway for everybody else’s backstories to be fleshed out. This brevity is somewhat alleviated through a number of flashbacks sprinkled throughout, but it is just not enough. As a result, only Audra has enough backstory to really care about.
Players won’t play Watch Me Jump insomuch as watch it. Outside of three basketball shots and some brief navigation in a hotel, the majority of the interaction comes from dialog choices Audra makes. Most players will have the same experience, but it is interesting to see how things play out. Audra is clearly defined as a character though, and decisions that may go against the grain do not always pan out. It feels like there is an illusion of choice, but it is not a dealbreaker.
It should be worth noting that the presentation of this game could use some work. The crude shapes and character designs look like they were designed in Microsoft Paint. Story takes center stage here, but even something like a pixel-based setup would have looked considerably better.
Watch Me Jump has got an interesting story, but it may be better suited as a stage play than a video game. Its brief length and rough presentation both hold the game back, which is unfortunate with a tale as solid as this one.
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