Shump is an explosive vertical platformer with a few neat tricks

Blast your way to the top in Shump, a juicy, three-button, shoot-‘em-up platformer.

Shump, from Alex Johansson, is an effort created to solve a problem the creator saw in the vertical platformer sub-genre: ‘They often feel clumsy and falling down and losing progress rarely feels good’. Their solution to the issue of clashes between movement and focussing on firing was to make firing a standard action. This means that Shump is always firing, and as such, the screen is always full and busy — just like any shoot-‘em up.

I played through some of Shump while at Game Anglia late last year. The developer had created an arcade cabinet for the game to be played in — replacing the three touch-screen buttons with a sliding rocker and a jump button. It was an intense experience. With the shooting automated for you, and the ability to rocket up the screen by simply hammering the up input, it really feels like you are setting the pace. It’s overwhelmingly tempting to just dash up and up, dodging enemies and getting to the next boss, rather than doing any shooting work. It feels like, in removing the fire button, Shump has instead added a new threat in overconfidence.

Shump features a variety of themed areas to rocket through; passing enough of these results in new enemies as well as new unlockable characters. It’s all very charming, and the cool, NES/retro aesthetic carries throughout.

If you’re looking for something arcade-y which is both frantic and explosive, you don’t need to look any further than Shump.

Shump is available now for iOS devices. If it does well enough, the developer may port to other devices. You can find out a little bit more about the game on the developer’s devlog.

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