You just had to love a game whose entire philosophy on life was summed up in its three-syllable title: Bump ‘n’ Jump. That’s all there was to it.
Bump cars and jump over obstacles. Smash things. Don’t get smashed. Nothing but primal, destructive fun from beginning to end. Us like. Us like big good.
Oh, sure, there was a bit more to Bump ‘n’ Jump than bumping and jumping: there was moving side to side, accelerating and decelerating.
But really, all of that was only a means to an end, and that end was bumping and jumping.
Stuck in the bottom part of a vertically-scrolling highway, your job was to manoeuvre your car down the twisty, nasty road.
When other cars got in your way – and it wouldn’t be any fun if they didn’t – you simply bumped them into the side of the road, where they burst into a flaming explosion on contact.
Unfortunately, the other guys were just as keen on bumping you. Some cars bumped easily; others were bulkier and harder to move.
And then there were the dump trucks, dropping their loads right in the middle of the highway to try to force you into a crash.
But incontinent dump trucks were often the least of your concerns: at certain points on the road, the pavement would just stop. That’s right, stop. No bridges, no ferries, and very little warning – just a flashing yellow exclamation mark at the top of your screen.
At times like these, your car’s handiest feature came into play: its absolutely killer vertical leap. Once your speed crossed 100, your little red wonder could catch some serious air, leaping over gaps and other obstacles. Even better, if you landed on another car, you’d smash him – smash him good!
The course was broken up into seasons, each harder than the last. The bumping and jumping got fast and furious, and only a quick wrist and good timing separated you from the exploding masses.
Bump ‘n’ Jump took its three-syllable premise and hit the ground running.
The game was a favourite of demolition derby wannabes everywhere, proving that simple pleasures are often the best ones.