For those who enjoy tackling a platformer game with multiple worlds and levels, enemies and power-ups, Troll Inc.’s Jellyflug is vying for your attention. A side-scrolling platformer for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that features simple household worlds as seen from the eyes of a bacterium, Jellyflug has numerous elements that compete with more stellar early versions of the genre – like enemies, special abilities, challenging landscapes and clever obstacles.
Jellyflug is the adventure of Grash, a displaced bacterium that is trying to find his way back to his bathroom home. Using simple on-screen touch controls, players guide Grash through five household worlds with three levels each to battle enemies, make new friends, discover special abilities and find his way home to safety. The home is perilous terrain for a simple bacterium and he must avoid soapy water and other obstacles to survive.
Jellyflug has some strong elements, mainly simple and intuitive touch-screen controls. Simple functions like double-tap enable running and jumping and ammunition launching is also achieved with a simple on-screen tap. In terms of story line, it’s a clever enough premise, but the cut scenes are a bit obtuse. Jellyflug’s animation is colorful and the landscape is fairly well designed, but the enemy AI comes off as relatively unexceptional. Though the controls are simple and intuitive, there is still a bit of a learning curve in terms of which characters are good, which are bad and how best to progress through a level. A slight remedy is the included onscreen tips, which are often welcome.
Designed for an audience that already enjoys platformer adventure games, Jellyflug has familiar and ordinary elements but its commonplace conventionalism isn’t likely to capture anyone’s heart. Even with the unique premise of playing as a bacterium navigating household worlds, the gameplay and characters themselves aren’t exceptional. Nonetheless, Jellyflug can still be a satisfying game, especially with the simple and intuitive controls that are also surprisingly responsive. There is almost no frustration with regards to movement and direction, and even jumping and changing directions has a smooth feel making navigation a superfluous issue.
While Jellyflug could easily be categorized as an ordinary platformer for having all the basic elements included and essential requirements met, it retains potential appeal to fans of the genre for creative worlds and landscape, clever obstacles and simple controls that do not hinder game action. It’s $1.99 price point seems a bit off for only 15 levels, but the levels do prove to provide a satisfying challenge and ample entertainment.