Yoomp! is the winner of the 2007 ABBUC software competition. Like a combination of Trailblazer and an often-seen demoscene effect, you fall down a tube, landing on each square progressively in a rhythmic manner. Landing on certain tiles will have certain effects, such as making the screen quake, decreasing the brightness or forcing you to jump. Navigating the tube itself is a matter of planning ahead and compensating for your limited movement capabilities. This game is freeware and can be downloaded on the Yoomp website.
Credits (Atari 8-bit version)
Average score: 100% (based on 1 ratings)
Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)
Considering the age of the platform it runs on, this game features some impressive graphics and sound -- the 3D effect is silky smooth and produces a real feeling of movement, the animation of the ball is fluid, the background music is full of chiptune goodness, and if you have a dual POKEY then the sound effects are even in stereo.
From the moment the title screen appears the game exhibits a degree of polish (or should that be Polish!) that many commercial titles are lacking. The gameplay is simple -- get your ball from one end of the tunnel to the other without falling down a hole; in part this requires fast reactions to negotiate a safe path, but it also requires concentration and anticipation, checking the tunnel ahead to make sure you're not heading down a dead end and into oblivion, and making use of a few simple "special" tiles.
The game has a real "just one more try" factor; the difficulty curve is perfectly pitched, and each new level will provide enough of a challenge to prevent it from being easy but not so much of a challenge that it'll ever seem impossible. This manages to keep frustration to a minimum whilst prolonging the game's replay value.
The simple mechanics manage to produce some adrenalin fuelled moments of panic, while the perfect synchronisation between the music and rhythm of the game is hypnotising. Combine the two, and it produces a horrifyingly addictive state of mind: a "perfect" game takes about 20 minutes but it'll take at least 15 hours of practice before you can manage it, so make sure you don't have any important things planned when you first pick the game up -- chances are you're not going to want to do anything else until you've completed this!
I struggle to find any criticism, but if I had to complain about something I'd say it could do with a few more levels. Really, though, it's pretty much free of flaws, and the need for more levels is more a testament to how much I enjoy playing it rather than a complaint.
The Bottom Line
There's no plot, no complicated backstory, and no padding: just guide your ball along a 3D tunnel without falling down a hole in a test of timing, coordination, forward planning, and concentration. Far more interesting than it sounds on paper, it's part arcade twitcher, part puzzle, and all good!
Atari 8-bit · by Mat Hall (3) · 2009
Related Sites +
The homepage of Yoomp, includes development information.
- MobyGames ID: 33987
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by C=Kulor.
Game added May 9th, 2008. Last modified February 13th, 2023.