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Jazz: Trump's Journey is a pleasing platformer

by Phil Owen

When it comes to quality free platformers on your phone, there aren't many good options, but Jazz: Trump's Journey is certainly one of them. Jazz tells the story of a kid in New Orleans (based on Louis Armstrong) who dreams of being a jazz musician, and his quest to become one.

And so he takes his trumpet, which has the magical ability to freeze time, and he goes out in search of other musicians and work. As a platformer, it's pretty standard; you'll jump around on things and try to collect items as you go – musical notes and photographs, in this case – and climb ladders and jump on moving platforms. It's fun, and it's never too difficult. It may strain you to try to collect all the photographs, which are often placed in hard-to-reach places, but it never becomes so hard as to be frustrating.

It's got an easy-to-use interface as well. At all times there are four buttons on screen: jump, left and right and trumpet, and other buttons pop up when the context is right, like when you need to drag a box somewhere. The buttons work as intended, and you won't find yourself struggling with the controls.

But what really makes Jazz stand out is its cute and endearing story. You'll travel to some neat-looking areas, and Trump's granny is always there to push you along and offer words of encouragement. And it's just nice to meet a platform hero that you actually want to help along. With Jazz, you'll come for the platforming, but you'll stay because Jazz is a cool character on a cool journey. In this case, the story isn't merely an excuse to play the game.

In the end, Jazz is the ideal platformer, because it's both fun to play and features a story you'll care about. We don't find that terribly often.

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