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For other uses, see Jumpman (disambiguation).
The Commodore 64 version of Jumpman
Developer(s) Epyx
Publisher(s) Epyx
Designer(s) Randy Glover[1]
Platform(s) Atari 8-bit family, Commodore 64, Apple II, IBM PC
Release date(s) 1983
Genre(s) Platform, puzzle
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Jumpman is a platform game written by Randy Glover and released by Epyx in 1983. Originally developed for the Atari 8-bit family, versions were also released for the Commodore 64, Apple II, IBM PC, and ColecoVision.

"Jumpman" was Mario's original name in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong, which featured several elements that appear in Jumpman. Randy Glover has stated that Donkey Kong was the original inspiration for Jumpman.[2]


The object of the game is to defuse all bombs in a platform-filled screen. Jumpman defuses a bomb by touching it. 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 a single direction of climbing only. Hazards include falling "smart darts" (small bullets that fly slowly across the screen, but when orthogonally lined up with Jumpman, greatly speed up and shoot straight in his direction), fall damage and other hazards that are unique to a certain level. Upon being hit or falling from a height, Jumpman tumbles down to the bottom of the screen, with a measure from Chopin's Funeral March being played.

Points are awarded for each bomb defused, with bonus points available for completing a level quickly. Jumpman's game run-speed can be chosen by the player, with faster speeds being riskier but providing greater opportunity to earn bonus points.


Randy Glover developed the initial prototype of the game in early 1983 for the Atari 400. He then sought a publisher for it and signed with Automated Simulations (soon to change their name to Epyx). Afterwards, he developed a finished version on the Atari and soon began working on a port to the Commodore 64. Epyx also ported Jumpman to the Apple II, and a year later contracted Mirror Images Software for an IBM PC/PCjr port. The Atari and Commodore versions were released on disk and cassette tape, the Apple and IBM versions only on disk. Jumpman became a best-seller[quantify] for Epyx, who sold all versions of the game until 1987.

Because the original Atari version of Jumpman includes a number of graphics effects designed around that computer's hardware features, such as its Display List interrupts, these graphics effects were omitted from the other releases of the game.[citation needed]

After developing the original game, Randy Glover then produced Jumpman Jr, a cartridge title with only 12 levels. He stated[citation needed] that it wasn't really a sequel to Jumpman, but more of a "lite" version for Atari and Commodore users who didn't have disk drives. Jumpman Jr was ported to the Colecovision, but there were no Apple II or IBM releases of the game.

Much like the original, Jumpman Jr was designed around the Atari 8-bit family's hardware and Randy Glover had to modify it for the Commodore 64. Two of its levels (Dumbwaiter and Electroshock Traps) were turned into Sreddal ("Ladders" backwards) and Fire! Fire! on the latter (the Colecovision version used the Commodore levels).

Sequels and re-releases[edit]

In 1998, Randy Glover became aware of the many fans of Jumpman and started working on Jumpman II, keeping a development diary at jumpman2.com (now defunct and just serving ads). The last recorded diary entry was made in 2001.[3]

In 2004, Jumpman Jr. was re-released on the C64 Direct-to-TV.

In 2008, the original Jumpman was released on the Wii's Virtual Console in Europe; it is slated for an American release as well.[citation needed]

In 2014, Midnight Ryder Technologies shipped Jumpman Forever[4] for the OUYA micro-console, with planned releases for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android platforms. Originally titled Jumpman: 2049, the game is considered to be an official sequel based on rights given to Midnight Ryder Technologies [5] back in 2000 by Randy Glover.

Unofficial ports and fan remakes[edit]

In 1991, Jumpman Lives!, written by Dave Sharpless, was released by Apogee Software. 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 levels from Jumpman and Jumpman Jr., and a number of new levels. The game also includes an editor. Apogee was forced to withdraw the game soon after release at the request of Epyx, who still owned the rights to Jumpman (they reverted to Randy Glover in 1993).[6]

In 1994, an unofficial PC port of Jumpman, missing the level "Freeze", was released by Ingenieurbüro Franke.[7] An updated version which included Freeze was released in 2001.

In 2003, the first version of The Jumpman Project, a port of the original PC booter to modern computers, was released.[8] The project is ongoing. The most recent version is 1.0.001, released in 2006.

In 2005, Raptisoft released Hap Hazard, described as a tribute to Jumpman.[9]


Softline in 1983 liked Jumpman, calling it "wonderfully addicting" and stating that it was as high-quality as Epyx's Dunjonquest games. The magazine cited its large number of levels ("Not one screen faster and harder each time; not ten screens three times; but thirty screens, one at a time"), and concluded that "it's bound to be a hit".[10] In 1984 readers named the game the seventh most-popular Atari program of 1983,[11] and it received a Certificate of Merit in the category of "1984 Best Computer Action Game" at the 5th annual Arkie Awards.[12]:28 K-Power rated the Commodore 64 version of Jumpman 7 points out of 10. The magazine stated that the game "has very good—not great—graphics, color, and sound. But because it's so enjoyable to play, it will be a long time before it's put away."[13]

Similar games[edit]


  1. ^ "The Giant List of Classic Game Programmers". 
  2. ^ "I talked to Randy Glover about Jumpman.". Archived from the original on 15 January 2008. Retrieved 3 June 2007. 
  3. ^ "OLD NEWS". Archived from the original on 20 December 2007. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Kickstarter-based Jumpman Forever Ships This Week on Wichita Business Journal website
  5. ^ The History of Jumpman (and Jumpman Forever) On JumpmanForever.com
  6. ^ "DAVE SHARPLESS INTERVIEW". Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 3 June 2007. 
  7. ^ Classic Jumpman
  8. ^ The Jumpman Project
  9. ^ Hap Hazard page on Raptisoft website
  10. ^ Yuen, Matt (May–Jun 1983). "Jumpman". Softline. p. 45. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "The Best and the Rest". St.Game. Mar–Apr 1984. p. 49. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Kunkel, Bill; Katz, Arnie (February 1984). "Arcade Alley: The 1984 Arcade Awards, Part II". Video. Reese Communications. 7 (11): 28–29. ISSN 0147-8907. 
  13. ^ Schussheim, Adam (February 1984). "Jumpman". K-Power. p. 61. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 

External links[edit]