When it comes to what video game genres are popular, battle royale games without question one of the most celebrated of this generation. One of the currently most popular games across all consoles is Fortnite, and that success has led to game developers wanting a piece of that success by putting their own spin on that formula. Soviet Jump Game is the latest product to follow this example.
Developed by Fantastic Passion and published by Game Grumps, this game combines the standard last-man-standing philosophy of a battle royale with the gameplay mechanics of a 2D platformer, all of which is held together by an art style that bases itself off stereotypes about the Soviet Union. While this does not end up creating the most universal experience for people to enjoy, Soviet Jump Game still comes out as a game that is definitely worth experiencing with its original take on the battle royale genre.
The game has a basic plot to explain its events, which is more than enough with its humorous take on events. The game touts itself as “the world’s first battle royale,” saying that the game was used as a traditional means of competition in the Soviet Union. With resources and honor being on the line, the better a person did in the competition, the more they would earn. While inconsequential in regards to the actual game, this short backstory acts as a nice addition, allowing for the game’s comical tone to be established and enjoyed right from the get-go.
This also extends to Soviet Jump Game in regard to how it is played. The game pits you against 49 other people, with standard eliminations being conducted by jumping on opponents’ heads, much like you would do to kill enemies in any Mario game. However, you can also take out opponents using a variety of power-ups, most of which are based on Russian stereotypes; you might find yourself eating potatoes to increase your size, wearing a hard hat throwing hammers and sickles at people, or wearing matryoshka dolls as armor, among other things.
You can even use vodka in order to gain temporary invincibility! The game is aware of its parodic nature and uses everything it can in order to make its gameplay mechanics part of the joke, while also providing variety to its happenings in the process.
On top of having variety in how it is played, Soviet Jump Game sets itself apart from other battle royale games with its 8-bit art style and the soundtrack that accompanies it. Every visual element of the game has a distinct look to it, making each area seem fresh and original while providing them with equal amounts of charm. The audio for each area is unique as well, and while they all provide different moods, whether you’re underwater, in an industrial area, or a different section of the map, all of the game’s music remains intense and engaging, helping you keep on your toes through every second of gameplay.
Soviet Jump Game has a lot of elements in how it is played that can keep peoples’ attention, but it also allows for large amounts of customization. Among other things, you can adjust who you play as, your character’s color scheme, what taunts and emotes you can use, and the sounds that accompany your movements. This allows players to have a large variety of things to use to make their ideal character or make different comrades as they see fit.
These customization options can be unlocked in two main ways: they can either be randomly won after cashing in vouchers at the Capitalist Corner, or they can be purchased using Jump Coins in the game’s Warehouse. While Jump Coins are mainly obtained with microtransactions, the changes available to players are solely cosmetic; this allows players to choose how they play without worrying about those who buy Jump Coins frequently having an advantage over them in-game. Everyone is on equal ground, much like communism.
However, despite the numerous strengths behind Soviet Jump Game, it suffers from gameplay that can be too simple at times. The game’s simple mechanics make it easy for players to understand, but that also means that games are typically short affairs, lasting an average of 5-7 minutes during my time playing the game.
While this does allow for quick bursts of fun that can be provided in rapid succession, it takes away a good amount of tension from playing the game, since a lot of the tension of preparing yourself for an intense battle can be taken away from you as quickly as it is provided. Sometimes, matches can even end without a final battle due to being trapped, causing the game to become a slog to wait through until one person dies, ending the match.
To me, a large amount of why battle royale games are regarded as fun is due to the amount of tension that goes into playing them. They have their moments of fast-paced gunplay, but between those intervals, you are usually gathering resources and searching for your enemies in open environments, making them games not only of fast reflexes but of strategy. Soviet Jump Game takes that strategic aspect and sets it aside, creating a game that, while good for short bursts of adrenaline, leaves little impact after the results screen for each match.
Soviet Jump Game is one of the more original games to come out of the battle royale trend, with its platformer-inspired gameplay style making it completely different than the mainstream games within its genre. With its snappy visuals and intense music, it does a great job of keeping players engaged in the heat of the moment, while also giving you plenty of options on how to make yourself look unique when compared to other players.
Where it falters in how its instant gratification with its gameplay leaves a lot to be desired in regards to long-term satisfaction since every session of a game ends too quickly to have any real tension come with it.
If you are looking for a game to help you understand the appeal behind battle royale genre, this might not be the most ideal for you. However, to those that are already fans of the genre, Soviet Jump Game provides a new spin on an old formula that, despite its flaws, will be an experience that will be one to enjoy as the game further develops and grows with time.
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