Jumpers for Goal Posts 1

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Jumpers for Goalposts – Original career-centric football action

Laying the Foundations

Every great series has to start somewhere: Doom began as a simple, pixelated shoot-em-up running on the classic MSDOS platform, Pokémon began life in an equally pixelated fashion but on the black & white GameBoy, and House MD began with a scoreless, dimly-lit pilot that held only a fraction of the greatness of the show that it went on to be. The great Jumpers for Goalposts series is now on its fourth title, with two separate sequels currently in the works; it also began with similar humble beginnings, with the unsurprisingly obvious title of ‘Jumping for Goalposts’. Mousebreaker’s insatiable series of football career games have allowed us to take control of an amateur player with no experience and guide him to the ultimate in footballing success, enjoying the spoils of money, fame, and girls that come along with it. Jumpers for Goalposts is a relatively simple title when you consider its successors, but it is nonetheless enjoyable and possesses several key aspects that gave the series a foundation to build on.

The Aim

Jumpers for Goalposts is all about creating opportunities for yourself through hard work and dedication. The hard work in question initially involves practising your skills on the pitch repeatedly until you are proficient enough to score sufficient points to be offered a contract from a league 3 club. After accepting your first contract and having completed the necessary skills training, the focus of the game switches to your weekly schedule, which is laid out in front of you in diary form. Training is recommended most days of the week, though you must also balance your hard work with some rest, as well as socialising and purchasing items such as cars and houses to increase your score in these attributes.

On the Field

Your on-field time comes in the form of small segments of play that litter each Saturday match. The matches unfold in commentary-based form on the screen and you are given control only when a chance to score a goal presents itself. At this stage, you are throw into one of the three skill scenarios that you practiced before you were signed: volleys, snapshots, or penalties.

Each of these skills is controlled with the mouse with a noticeably simplistic interface and some shaky-feeling movement across the ball. Performing a volley is extremely difficult as you must line up the player with the ball that bounces across the screen; you will likely have a frustrating time even trying to get your foot on the ball such is the difficulty here. Penalties are shot by stopping a fluctuating indicator at the desired position and snapshots test your reflexes, requiring you to kick the ball that appears from behind you at random intervals. Some may feel that the difficulty of the skills is intentional, but it feels like a fault with the physics and the generally poor responsiveness and general design of the skills scenarios. Luckily, these improve a little in Jumpers for Goalposts 2 and the following titles.

Simplistic Fun

Jumpers for Goalposts is a fairly simple concept with very little to offer in the way of graphics and flashiness. It is essentially a very simple game that involves you in the career progression of a young footballer, requiring you to balance your resources, your training, and your personal life in order to work your way up to a better club and impressive wages. The game has a tendency to draw you in and is in some respects fairly addictive, but nowhere near on the scale of its successor titles.

68/100