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Jumpman was written by Randy Glover and first released by Epyx in 1983. However, Jumpman's origin can be traced back to 1981, when Nintendo released Shigeru Miyamoto's masterpiece Donkey Kong. Randy Glover was one of the thousands of people who become addicted to DK.

Randy bought an Atari 400 in early 1983 and attempted to write a tribute (ie knock-off) to Donkey Kong. He was partially successful with a crude 6 level Jumpman precursor. Encouraged by this, Randy decided to scrap his early game and began to write Jumpman from scratch later the same year.

Jumpman and Donkey Kong are both of the platform game genre - and each game's hero has the same name: Jumpman. Jumpman's sequel, Jumpman Jr., is also somewhat similar in name to Donkey Kong's sequel, Donkey Kong Jr. Mind you, Donkey Kong's hero had been renamed to Mario by this stage and went on to help make Nintendo the company it is today.

Armed with an early version of Jumpman, Randy went shopping for publishers during the winter of 1983. He signed with Epyx after talks with Epyx and Broderbund.

A 30-level Jumpman was finished for the Atari & PC late that year and was a huge success. It was followed by the 15-level sequel Jumpman Jr. and versions of both games for the Commodore 64. Jumpman was also released on the ColecoVision although the conversion was not programmed by Randy.

Randy stayed at Epyx until early 1985, working on such C64 classics as Lunar Outpost, Pit Stop and Summer Games. He was eventually seduced into retirement by the rather large Jumpman royalty cheques. Jumpman was discontinued by Epyx in 1987.

Next - Jumpman Lives! (1991)

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