Jaywalk in the World is a game which promotes illegal activities, one which will get you killed basically anywhere in the world. In the game, you’re supposed to run through a busy intersection, but in real life, if you don’t get rammed by a double-decker bus, you’ll get fined until your wallet bleeds.
But hey, killing is also illegal and it’s basically the number one topic of games today, so why the hell wouldn’t someone make a game about running across the street? Thankfully we have Kosoado Kotoba, the creators of Jaywalk in the World.
In this game, the player takes control of a character, cleverly named J.J. Walker, who travels around the world looking for the love of his life. He’s also a daydreamer, always getting stuck in his own fantasy world somewhere, which is why he’s usually late for his dates.
Simple design, simple controls
That’s where you step in, dear player – you must help J.J. run across the street to make it in time for his date.
The game is a 2D platformer, hop game, with very simple commands. At the bottom of the screen is a space reserved for tapping, and every time you tap, your character moves a bit forward. Tap faster, and he’ll move faster. Running over the busy intersection you will come across various objects, not necessarily vehicles in nature.
Depending on which level you play, if you’re in Italy you can get run over by a slice of pizza or someone speeding in a Ferrari. Similar thing go for Switzerland, where a piece of Swiss cheese can spell your doom.
Running through the street, you have no way of turning back or moving backwards, which in my opinion is the biggest setback this game has. As you progress through the game, the streets get bigger and more crowded with cars, busses, bikes, pizzas, cheese, bricks and whatnot getting in your way.
And being also limited by time (there’s a countdown timer forcing you to react as quickly as possible) you will often hurry and put yourself in a position where you can dodge a car only by going backwards.
The game is cartoonish in style, and very simple in design, putting the entire emphasis on the gameplay, achievements and in-game purchases.
Each country has three stages, and after completing those stages, you reach your destination and end up on a date. Reaching a goal triggers various achievements and fills your gallery with images of all the ladies you unlocked.
Achievements are well thought and implemented with quality. Completing stages, making the date, avoiding getting hit by a pizza all reward you with achievements and experience points which you can use to compare to your friends over Google’s network.
Game shop failed
However, the in-game purchase part is where the game falls fairly short.
Those purchases are only limited to the gallery, where you can unlock images of all the characters and places you’ve reached. I believe this is not enough to motivate people to actually invest additional money into the game, and I would love to see a shop with various add-ons to enrich the game.
Buying special options and boosts could be the first step: walking backwards, slowing down the traffic, or dodging a certain hit could be some of the power-ups which could dramatically improve the game’s dynamics and motivate people to visit the store.
Different cosmetic changes could also be implemented, like various clothing accessories for J.J. Walker.
Also, all of these add-ons could be implemented using an in-game currency. For example, every time a player completes a level or unlocks an achievement, he’s awarded with a predefined set of coins, which he can spend in the store for various power-ups.
Jaywalk in the World is a simple and effective game. Its cartoonish style is pleasing to the eye, and together with quality audio background makes a game which is fun and relaxing to play.
Its simple gameplay design allows the game to easily become addictive, and various achievements and milestones will most likely help the game go viral.
Adding a backwards option and taking maximum advantage of the shop could drastically improve the game’s dynamics and transform it into a well-rounded, polished product.