It’s hard to dispute that Doodle Jump popularized the formula of jumping upwards between unending platforms, avoiding enemies, and striving for the highest score possible. Numerous perpetual jumping games have subsequently followed, the majority of which offer little innovation. Clumsy Bob is a game in the same vein and although it competently replicates the formula of its predecessors, it never manages to surpass it.
Your role is to help Bob, a surprising agile elephant, jump between various platforms – clouds in this instance – without falling to his death. Clouds come in different varieties, with different properties indicated by color. Red clouds, for example, disappear under your feet after a single bounce. Unlike the numerous games it follows, Bob must travel horizontally, not vertically. This does little to alter the gameplay mechanic, but does seem to make your task slightly easier.
Bob is controlled with the accelerometer by titling your device from side to side. Familiar power-ups such as umbrellas and rockets are on hand, slowing you landing, or firing you across the scenery respectively. Familiarly, various enemies are out to destroy your high score, with the rats and snakes swallowing you whole if you inadvertently land on them.
Clumsy Bob does have a few saving graces. Its graphics, for example, are colorful, crisp, and down-right gorgeous on a Retina display. Bob’s world has been beautifully crafted, even down to its character design. Crystal has been implemented and brings with it a number of unlockable achievements and leaderboards. Perfect for those of you with a competitive streak.
The problem with Clumsy Bob isn’t its gameplay, as it does what it does fairly well. The problem lies with the saturated market of perpetual jumpers already available to iPhone and iPod touch owners. Although Clumsy Bob does little wrong, it just doesn’t bring anything new to the table. If you already own a title in this genre I can’t justify the need to purchase Clumsy Bob. Similarly, better titles are already on the App Store for newcomers.