I really hate how Xbox Indies automatically pushes any Japanese title into obscurity due to listing all of the Japanese titles at the end. Yuwaka Soft's ???????? -- "Jump with Colobockle" or "Colon Jump" according to Google Translate; I'll go with the former here -- is just such a game and too adorable to be ignored. Thankfully, the gameplay is simple run-and-jump and the game options are easily guessable, leaving Jump with Colobockle playable by everyone. There is absolutely no need to strike Jump off any platformer fan's list due to unfamilarity of the native language.
The cute introductory cinema explains how little Colobockle was whisked away from her brother as they rode together on a friendly bird. The goal of the game is to reunite with them, searching all around the city while dodging all manner of obstacles put in her way. Most of the hazards take the form of animals such as cats and birds, but the player will also be guided over and around rooftop antennas, soda cans, and flowers. Most everything is drawn in that cute Hello Kitty sort of style featuring thick outlines and bright colors. I love how the girl shuffles her way through the level, and small but endearing touches such as the cats swiping their paws and peeking from underneath flower pots make for an utterly charming game. The sweet natured design and cinemas are sure to put a smile on most players' faces. It's a rare Xbox 360 game which has one wishing someone would make plush toys from its cast, but although Jump suffers from sparse Flash-level animation, the character design and artwork are simply wonderfully done.
Jump with Colobockle is a forced scrolling game in which one hit kills, recalling those early Wonderboy type arcade titles where death meant touching something one shouldn't or getting crushed along the edge of the screen. This is a wholly non-violent game with the girl just leaping (A button), gliding (X button), and occasionally crawling her way around and under most obstacles. Each level is capped with a new cinema advancing the story along with a long jump competition for extra acorns and lives. Acorns are found throughout all of the levels and are used to accumulate extra lives; while the three levels are hardly brutal, the forced scroll and pacing is sure to force some players to be thankful for the ability to stock up. Some special glowing acorns will grant ten nuts instead of one, making the 100 required per extra life definitely obtainable during the course of this short game. While the control is spot on for the most part, there are times the collision detection is off, such as when trying to leap from the flower pot hiding cat to take advantage of the height boost. Thankfully, these situations are rare and do not cripple the game much.
While there is nothing remotely innovative or special in design, this remains a nicely made but all too brief platformer, and it's a shame the title is limited to such a short experience. The game is completely beatable during the trial limitation for an experienced platformer fan, and cute art or otherwise, there's not much to do once the game is completed. I would love to see this again with better animation and more levels, as Yuwaka Soft's title here can stand to have an adventure worthy of its excellent style and design. Until then, Jump with Colobockle finds itself a game definitely worth checking out but likely too short and simplistic to get anyone to buy in, which should be of little surprise seeing as the PC version was distributed freely in its native Japan.