Many video games nowadays offer small minigame -type activities as a way to keep the players entertained. These minigames can vary from basic puzzle-solving to jumping puzzles, where you have to bounce from one tiny platform to another, and reach a goal that is usually located at the top of something. These jumping puzzles have become increasingly popular in video games, and for some it is great fun, but for some, not so much.
My love for jumping puzzles started with Counter-Strike 1.6, and the custom maps created entirely for jumping. If you saw a tag “kz” in the front of the map, you knew you were in for a ride. The map I specifically remember doing several times was called kz_volcano, which was a long jumping puzzle around and inside a volcano. Obviously, Counter-Strike wasn’t originally created for jumping puzzles, but with the right kind of movement and maneuvering you could actually do jumps that would otherwise seem impossible. Some of the maps took an insane amount of practicing, but once you got the hang of it and spent enough time with the maps, as well as mastering the different kinds of jumps, you could easily end up beating the previous highscores set by other players.
World of Warcraft also introduced jumping puzzles in their latest patch (9.2) of the Shadowlands expansion. Though I got excited to see them introduce some parkour into the game, many of my guildmates were not that excited; they found them extremely painful to do, and said that it reminded them of the same pain that Destiny 2 jumping puzzles gave them. In Destiny 2, jumping puzzles are more complex, and you really have to think about where and when you jump, since doing the puzzle wrong means death. Completing it correctly, however, can reward you with exotic weapons and other cool stuff for your character.
In Dying Light, parkour is a huge part of the gameplay, and jumping puzzles are still very much a thing. You would think they would be much easier to do with a character that actually has some mad skills in parkour, but you would be incredibly wrong. Especially in Dying Light 2, you have a stamina meter that decreases over time while you are performing these parkour moves, and if you deplete it completely, your character will fall. The mechanics regarding parkour and movement also allow for more interesting jumping puzzles. While playing Dying Light 2 with my friends, it became sort of a meme that I would stay behind doing my jumping puzzles, while my friends where already moving towards the next objective. They didn’t necessarily hate the jumping puzzles, but they weren’t too keen on doing them. If I could get one euro for every time my friends said “Oh, there she is again, doing some random jumping puzzle”, I would own at least 107 euros (one euro per each hour played).
Needless to say, my love for jumping puzzles is endless. Intrestingly enough though, I hate games like Jump King, where the entire gameplay revolves around jumping around and reaching the top. I guess what intrigues me about the jumping puzzles in other games is the technicality of it; your character is not meant to do this on a regular basis, and you need to actually think and plan out what to do and where to jump next. It is similar to all the other puzzles in the game; you plan out what your next move is, and once you crack the code it makes you feel like you have mad skills.
Why do people hate them then? Your guess is as good as mine, although my first guess would be the frustration that failing gives to so many. Once you’re frustrated enough, you swear that you’ll never do the jumping puzzle in question again. Do not get me wrong, I get those moments myself all the time, but for some reason I go back to them, repeat them, and enjoy the moment I finish them. Needless to say, jumping puzzles are a thing that cause some division in the gaming community; some love them, and some absolutely despise them with every single cell of their whole being.
I personally am really happy to see that jumping puzzles are becoming a thing more and more in video games. Even if they lead me to a chest filled with bad loot, I’m still happy to do them for the fun of it. So, if you are planning to make a game and are thinking whether you should add some jumping puzzles to keep things spicy, I say, DO IT! They can’t hurt, right? Unless if you fall to your death and have to restart the whole thing after almost reaching the end of the puzzle, of course.
Pictures: Taken by the Author