Hands-on Preview – Mr. Run and Jump

For a while, the vast majority of Atari’s outings were merely revamped, or, as they like to call, Recharged versions of older games from their massive catalogue, such as Asteroids, Breakout, and Yar’s Revenge. I like that they are now finally branching out to releasing new(ish) IPs, whilst still retaining the most appealing aspect of the Atari brand in this day and age: early 80s nostalgia. One of the hands-on previews we had the opportunity of tackling at this year’s BIG Festival in São Paulo was exactly that. Mr. Run and Jump is a new game, but it’s basically a massive love letter to the Atari 2600 in every conceivable way.

Mr. Run and Jump

Dude has the most epic Johnny Bravo hairdo in gaming history.

In essence, Mr. Run and Jump is a remake of a game that has never existed. Sort of. Atari is actually developing and planning on releasing a 2600 game of the same name. Upon starting the demo, I was actually forced to play what resembled an old Atari game for a few minutes before my protagonist, which mostly resembled a toothpick with legs, jumped into a portal transporting him to what I can best describe as the Atari Recharged version of Mr. Run and Jump itself. What was then a basic as hell platformer turned into… well, still a basic platformer, at least in the demo, but one with a bit more substance.

The demo was brief, but from what I could test out, Mr. Run and Jump is going for a lite take on the gauntlet platformer subgenre, like Celeste. It’s a linear series of platforming challenges, with the occasional branching path where you can partake on an extra challenge in order to gain a prize. I wasn’t able to actually play this section in the demo, as I was told I would need to come back after acquiring a powerup. In no moment did the game feel like a metroidvania, though, as each area is a simple “go from point A to point B” level. Being able to go back to previous levels with newly acquires abilities felt more like a Yoshi approach than anything else.

As for the presentation, well, it was par for the course. Neon visuals, saturated colors, and synthwave music comprised the audiovisual elements seen in the demo, with the aforementioned Atari-esque introductory level to spice things up a bit. It didn’t feel bland, as I’m a sucker for this retro-modern aesthetic, but it also felt a bit too predictable.

Mr. Run and Jump visuals

Neon-drenched, colorful, looking retro and modern at the same time. Mr. Run and Jump doesn’t impress visually, but it doesn’t disappoint, either.

I didn’t leave the demo session of Mr. Run and Jump feeling disappointed or anything, but it just felt like… a game. Maybe the demo was just too short to showcase everything the game had to offer (namely the powerups and being able to replay previous levels with these upgrades), but the game just ended up feeling like another competent but predictable precision platformer. It’s coming out in a few weeks so I’m still looking forward to it, but it didn’t particularly fill me with expectations and hype.


Mr. Run and Jump is slated for a July 25th release date on PS4, PS5, PC and Switch.