JAZZ: Trump’s Journey is a fantastic adventure game that has one of the most amazing soundtracks I have ever encountered on an Android game. As an avid lover of jazz music, I find it to be an enormously pleasurable experience. It is specifically designed for jazz music fans, or more importantly, anyone who wants to learn more about the genre. Either way, the tracks presented in the game are prefect renditions of traditional jazz.
What’s even more exciting about JAZZ is that it’s an historical parallel to the life of the late, great Louis Armstrong. Throughout the game, you follow Trump, a jazz trumpet player. Join him as you embark on your quest to form a musical group, handle a love affair, and battle the extreme injustice that fills the streets of New Orleans.
The adventure you experience has several aspects that will add to its appeal. The controls are relatively easy to master and the storyline is very simple to follow. However, that doesn’t mean the game is without its challenges. There are undoubtedly some very difficult parts in JAZZ that will certainly give you a run for your money. The game will truly uplift your mood through the comic style gameplay and the extraordinary music.
Basic level screen: this is how the game looks most of the time
The adventure is played using graphics that are similar to cut-out art. This gives JAZZ a very relaxed and almost humorous feel. Most of the information is generally given through text since the developer decided to use cutscenes that replicate old silent movies. This is an absolutely genius addition because it will literally make you feel like you are in New Orleans back in the early 1900s.
The controls are very simple and set up perfectly for touch screens. I am reviewing this game on my Nexus 7 and have had no issues playing it, so the interface translates to the tablet very nicely. All you essentially have is left/right buttons, up/down buttons, and a jump button. This makes trump very easy to control and gives the whole game a similar feel to the old-school Super Mario games.
The basic controls will be adapted throughout the game to the task you need to accomplish. I found that all of the modifications are very logical and don’t take much time to master. For example, there are portions of the game where you will need to jump and swing on a rope. This is achieved by jumping towards the rope, and pressing the forward button to grab it.
Reminders pop-p telling you which moves can now be made.
In Trump’s Journey, Trump controls everything. You’ll notice that in the main menu and the settings, you must move Trump in order to get to different options. This is a very cool way of navigating menus, but unfortunately it can be a little tedious when you just want to change one setting. Even the closing credits involve Trump’s movement through your controls. This constantly keeps you glued to the game. It also adds a creative twist that is both welcoming and refreshing.
Throughout each level, you are to collect pictures and music notes. Trump likes to keep vivid memories, which is why you must collect pictures. The music notes can again be compared to Super Mario’s coin feature. Fortunately, you are not required to collect all of the notes or pictures. But if you’re an over-achiever, then by all means do it.
Example of how the music notes and pictures work
Once Trump finds his old trumpet, you can use it to stop time. This is useful if there are moving platforms or anything similar. You can stop time by pressing the music symbol in the bottom left corner of the screen. Stopping time with the trumpet will freeze the platforms — and pretty much anything else that moves — allowing you to jump on them, and then restart time to get where you need to go. However, some movement is imune to time stops, in which case it is symbolized by a red X over the music symbol.
Example of a red X on objects that are not effected by time stops
Your main character is obviously Trump. He will be your partner throughout the entire journey. You also get the help of an elder gospel singer who will guide you through your quest. She also pops up to give you inspiration, to make sure you are doing everything you are supposed to do and remind you of things that have happened in the past as well.
You also get an entire arsenal of musicians. These guys will appear sporadically as you continue through your quest and constitute your band. Since it is Trump’s goal is to play in parades and clubs all throughout New Orleans, it is crucial that he puts together a top-notch jazz band.
Some of Trump’s fabulous musicians
In addition, Trump is also coping with a love affair. He has fallen for a beautiful gal and must work hard to win her over. He does this by showcasing his amazing trumpet skills and through his music, he is able to win her heart. This adds a nice side interest to the game that brings an even more real feel.
Trump playing for his lovely gal, stealing her heart
The music in this game is about as authentic as you can get without actually being in New Orleans. All of the sound recordings heard are recorded from real, live acoustic instruments making the game groove. The music is lively and upbeat but not so much that you become distracted from the gameplay. It is clear that the developer worked extra hard to create a soundtrack that jived with the gameplay in complete harmony.
The main music that is played through the levels is a mix of various instruments soloing. What is absolutely incredible about it is that it doesn’t seem to be short loops on repeat. It is a long continuous track that is very appealing. What’s even more exciting is that the music is being played by top-notch jazz musicians.
Example of how the actual music plays an important role in the game
There are very subtle sound effects that only add to the absolute genius of this game. For example, when you are climbing up a later, you will hear noises that sound exactly like brushes on a snare drum, a very popular drumming technique in jazz. Also, when you die, you will hear a trumpet scooping downward, signifying your fall.
I can honestly say that JAZZ: Trump’s Journey is one of the most fun games I’ve played on Android. It combines an amazing soundtrack with top-notch gameplay, all while increasing difficulty. This is terrific because it really makes you feel like you get the most out of your money. After your first time playing JAZZ you immediately get lost in Trump’s life, making it nearly impossible to put the game down.
Overall I think JAZZ has put a clever spin on a very familiar game type. I find myself constantly reminiscing the old side scrolling games and absolutely loving the refreshing twist brought with it. And although it can get rather frustrating at times, it is undoubtedly a fantastic game and only seems to be getting better over time.
JAZZ is initially free for the first 2 levels. However, if you want to play the full version, you will have to pay $2.99 to unlock them — a fair price given the complexity and soundtrack of the game.