“It’s the best mobile game in the world. That I can tell you. Believe me, I know mobile games.”
So says Donald Jrump. In 2017, following Jrump's win in the 2016 US election, international borders have closed up, global warming research has halted and brick sales have increased at a staggering rate. With the world now in utter chaos and his tiny hands growing increasingly sweaty, it’s time to leave to make the galaxy great again. How? By jumping on his favourite things... walls.
Known as Jrump, the game is free from iTunes and the Android app store. In short, after successfully destroying planet earth, president Donald Jrump sets out to wreck the entire galaxy by jumping off of walls. Along the way, he’ll have to battle such nefarious forces as scientists, Kim Jong Un, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, who will stop at nothing to stop him from ushering forth an era of global winning. We’re not making any of this up.
The brainchild of Aucklanders Tom Bellamy and Ben Markby, co-foudners of Oddboy, the game has already been downloaded more than 10,500 times since it was launched late in the evening on 16 September. Within two hours of its launch, Markby says, the Huffington Post already had a story up about it. “We never thought it was going to take off this quickly.”
What’s even more impressive is Jrump is the first “full-on” game built and released by the studio, which only opened this past February. Teaming up with AppArcanum played a big role in getting the game made because of their technical expertise, Markby explains. “It’s been an awesome learning curve for both teams.”
Markby says the entire game was produced in about 12 weeks – which was important, he said, because the US presidential election is coming up in November. But what does he think the man Jrump is based off of, who is famously known for suing almost anyone and everyone who depicts him in a manner he doesn’t agree with, will think of the game? “We’re kind of scared,” Markby jokes. “We don’t know if we’re going to tweet him or not. We don’t know if he’d sue us. But if he did I guess he’d have to deal with the legal system here, so we’ll probably be OK.”
As part of the gameplay, Jrump can wear a variety of colourful outfits, including a chicken suit, sailor outfit, maid’s uniform, and more. There’s a specific reason for such varied looks, Markby explains. “It relieves a bit of stress to put him in a ballerina outfit.”
Also created for the game is an animated launch trailer, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times since it debuted on 15 September. “That took nearly as long as the game to create,” Markby says. “We wrote it ourselves. We had to watch heaps and heaps of Trump videos to get all the Trump-isms. It was quite trying.”
But the end result is a polarising masterpiece – or disaster, depending on one’s political persuasion – that Markby believes also says a lot about creativity in New Zealand. “There’s a whole lot of great creativity here.”
Bellamy agrees, but he’s also quick to point something out for the record. “We don’t actually have any political affiliation or anything.”