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Jumpman is an early platform game with 30 levels, written by Randy Glover and released by Epyx in 1983. Originally developed for the Atari 400/800, versions were also released for the Commodore 64, Apple II, and IBM PC. In 2004 it would be "re-released" on the C64 Direct-to-TV.

Apogee introduced the backronym "Jet-controlled Upward Motion Propulsion".

The object of the game is to defuse all bombs in a platform-filled screen. According to the story, these are placed on Jupiter by terrorists. Jumpman can climb up and down ladders, and of course jump, and there are two kinds of rope each allowing one direction of climbing. Jumpman will die if he falls a distance greater than his own height. As an additional hazard, most levels have 'smart darts' - small bullets that fly slowly from sides of the screen, but when orthogonally lined up with Jumpman they speed up and shoot straight in his direction. Collecting a bomb can cause other board elements to appear or disappear, which is scripted by level and creates some devious puzzles.

What makes the Jumpman games special is that (nearly) all levels contain an enemy, hazard or trick unique to that level. See the level list below for examples. Also, unusual for its age, the levels are not a matrix of elements, but rather consist of lines and blocks of platforms etc.

It should be noted that "Jumpman" was the original name used for Mario in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong, which featured several elements (most notably the ladders and levels aspects) that would appear in Jumpman.



The disk-based Jumpman was followed by Jumpman Jr. on both disk and ROM cartridge , which was available for the Commodore 64, Atari 400/800, and Colecovision.

In 1991 Jumpman Lives!, written by Dave Sharpless, was released by Apogee Software. Jumpman Lives! is one of the oldest games featuring VGA graphics; however, they are only used in the menus and introduction, and not in the game itself. In typical Apogee formula, the game consists of four 'episodes', each with twelve levels - the first being free, the rest for sale. The game contains most levels from Jumpman and Jumpman Junior, and a number of new levels; however, none of the new levels contain any unique elements and thus are somewhat out of atmosphere. The game also includes an editor. Since Epyx still owned the rights to Jumpman, Apogee was forced to withdraw the game.

In 1998 Randy Glover became aware of the many fans of Jumpman and started working on Jumpman II, but several sources state that development has now stopped on this project.

In 2003 Dave Campbell developed Jumpman Zero[1] for both the Palm OS & Windows platforms. It contains twenty-eight levels: the first level from the original game, and all others new - several of which parody other games. In spirit with the older games, each level has a unique hazard. However, the game doesn't contain down-climbing ropes, nor does collecting bombs trigger the adding or removing board elements (except in the first level). Jumpman now has the ability to dive and roll, and several levels are larger than the screen and scroll. The game uses an unusual graphics style that consists of 3-d renderings of pixelated graphics. The Windows version seems to have stalled into a "Perpetual Beta" (but completely playable) state. The engine of the game technically allows new levels to be added in the form of DLLs, but this is only possible for experienced programmers.

Also in 2003, Chris Leathley developed Jumpman - Under Construction[2]. Development updates ceased for the general public in December 2003, though regulars on the related (now defunct) web-board were given access to some newer versions. The game contains most of the levels from the original Jumpman, and an editor. It has created 'prototypes' for all special elements, and thus in new levels it only allows for special elements similar to those already found in existing levels.

It's interesting to note that the original programmer, Randy Glover, released a level for this Jumpman construction kit. It was the first Jumpman level he released since Jumpman Jr.


Jumpman "Beginner" levels (1-8)

  • Easy Does It (none)
  • Robots I (robots that move for a few seconds when you touch a bomb)
  • Bombs Away (bombs fall from the ceiling)
  • Jumping Blocks (colorful blocks float around, that when touched force you to jump)
  • Vampire (three bats fly around in a lazy homing pattern)
  • Invasion (UFOs fly around; Jumpman can shoot rather than jump)
  • Grand Puzzle I (ladders must be built from loose elements)
  • Builder (a rather empty level, but each bomb touched adds a number of additional elements)

"Intermediate" levels (9-18)

  • Look Out Below (parts of the ceiling fall down whenever you touch a bomb)
  • Hot Foot (when jumping, the floor under the player's feet bursts into flames)
  • Runaway (the bombs move around randomly)
  • Robots II (robots move around constantly)
  • Hailstones (bouncing stones fall from the sky)
  • Dragon Slayer (two dragons chase you; Jumpman can throw spears rather than jump)
  • Grand Puzzle II (four special treasures can be taken from locked rooms)
  • Ride Around (a floating platform travels in a figure-eight pattern)
  • The Roost (three chickens fly down at you, generally homing)
  • Roll Me Over (barrels roll around up and down platforms and ropes)

"Advanced" levels (19-30)

  • Ladder Challenge (a flying ladder is required to reach the bombs)
  • Figurit (a dastardly puzzle involving appearing and disappearing platforms)
  • Jump-N-Run
  • Freeze (enemies walk around and paralyze you at touch; smart darts are then likely to kill you)
  • Follow The Leader (a number of clones follow your footsteps about two seconds behind you)
  • Jungle (a screenful of ropes)
  • Mystery Maze (the room starts blacked out; only things nearby become visible)
  • Gunfighter (two gunmen walk around and shoot at you; you can shoot back rather than jump)
  • Robots III (robots use reasonably smart tracking to find you)
  • Now You See It... (getting a bomb causes platforms, ladders or bombs to go invisible)
  • Going Down (a platform moves down in the center)
  • Grand Puzzle III (after getting most bombs, a gate can be taken to a special bonus round)


  • The Randomizer option allows the user to play all the levels in random order. On the Atari 800 version and Commodore 64 versions of JumpMan, Randomizer always starts with Robots II.

Jumpman Junior levels

  • Nothing to it (easy level)
  • Fire! Fire! (platforms are blocked by fire whenever you touch a bomb)
  • Sreddal (two ladders float up and down and must be used to reach the bombs, and they reverse direction each time a bomb is collected)
  • Hellstones (as in Hailstones, bouncing stones fall from the ceiling)
  • Figurit's Revenge (as in Figurit, an even more dastardly puzzle involving appearing and disappearing platforms)
  • Walls (large blocks float around and push you off platforms)
  • Zig Zag (lots of smart darts that fly in a not-so-easily-avoidable zig zag pattern)
  • Spellbound (collecting the bombs in correct order spells 'Epyx Jumpman' and gives bonus points)
  • Blackout (as in Mystery Maze, the room starts blacked out; only things nearby become visible)
  • Herethereeverywhere (when collecting a bomb, Jumpman is teleported to a wandering gate)
  • Hatchlings (from the last collected bomb, an enemy hatches and homes into you)
  • Hurricane (strong gale blows you to the left, along with birds trying to fight the wind)
  • * After level 12, the game keeps going indefinitely with a randomly selected level each time

Jumpman Zero levels


  • Easy does it (from the original game)
  • Followers (a number of flying sheep move in your general direction)
  • Disorderly (a group of Tetris blocks have to be dropped to fill a trench)
  • Hot hot hot (lava flows down from a number of nozzles)
  • Flash flood (water covers most of the level, but temporarily drops when you touch a clock)
  • The hive (a number of bees lazily home into the Jumpman)
  • Downside up (a number of switches cause the level to flip when touched)
  • Tree huggers (monkeys shimmy up and down ropes)


  • Solid ground (platforms temporarily disappear seconds after you step on them)
  • No rush (turtles move back and forth over platforms)
  • Clockwork (moving platforms are tied to gearworks)
  • …Now you don't (as in Now You See It..., the level starts out black)
  • The Great White North (penguins move in predictable patterns)
  • La Garra (a moving hook drops springing enemies and new bombs in the level)
  • The Gauntlet (a number of deadly traps involving rotating blades)
  • Big Game (dinosaur-like monsters walk back and forth)


  • Flicker (the room is dark except for a circle around you, and a ghost homes into you)
  • When it Rains (Raindrops fall from the sky, and a water level goes up and down)
  • Fyodor (a large bear chases you)
  • Infestation (bombs clone themselves and wander around)
  • High Strung (a chain ties Jumpman to the center of the level, and lengthens with each bomb taken)
  • A Difficult Assignment (a parody of the game Impossible Mission)
  • Wonkey Frog (a parody of the game Donkey Kong)
  • Jump the Shark (Jumpman has to swim in a basin and avoid an angry shark)

All levels

  • Final battle (a UFO shoots laser beams at you)

Secret level

  • Ninjas (ninjas walk around and add new bombs; this level is very difficult, requiring you to trick all of the ninjas into jumping off the bottom platform)

Similar games

Ultimate Wizard was release in 1984 by Electronic Arts

In 2005, Raptisoft Games released Hap Hazard[3], which borrows heavily on the Jumpman concept.

See also

External links

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