I thought I had written everything there was to write about Jumpy Friends.
And then I wrote this.
You might think that a game that involves blindly tapping on the screen has no strategery.
But you’d be wrong.
And maybe you’re used to that. But let’s move on.
The strategeries I’ve discovered so far fall into two categories:
Physiological and Psychological.
The physiological category is the first you’ll need to master. In short, your fingers are going to hurt if you don’t figure out how to tap efficiently.
Cadence and Effort
You’ll probably start out mashing on the screen like crazy and wear yourself out in the first 10 minutes.
Your best option is to find a cadence that isn’t so fast that you’re wasting physical effort, but isn’t so slow that you’re wasting time while your sheep is ready to jump.
After some experience, you’ll learn that a) your sheep doesn’t jump that fast anyway, and b) you’re going to last a lot longer if you make the smallest possible physical movements with your fingers.
So why doesn’t your sheep jump on every tap?
Well, the first tap sends the jump off to the game server to update your position, and your sheep won’t jump again until the response comes back. That’s just the way I made it because. Any extra taps in the meantime are discarded.
In a perfect world, you’d tap the screen just as your sheep was ready for the next jump. But that timing is impossible to know, since there are just too many factors on the Internet and all those flapping butterflies.
Your best option is to find a cadence that isn’t so fast that you’re wasting physical effort, but isn’t so slow that you’re wasting too much time while your sheep is ready to jump.
That said, if you’re in a real-time race, tapping faster can actually make you run faster. Why? Because you’ll minimize the unpredictable time between when your sheep is ready for the next jump and the time you actually tap the screen.
So, fast tapping is great when you’re in a neck-and-neck race (I usually use 3-4 fingers in a cadence, and 6-8 fingers when it’s life-and-death), but it isn’t going to serve you well in the long run as you tire out.
It’s a real-life version of Aesop’s Tortoise and the Hare. And Jumpy Friends proves it’s all true.
Note that having a low-latency network connection is also going to make you faster. That might seem unfair, and it is unfair in the short term.
But like I’ve been telling you over and over, Jumpy Friends is all about endurance, not speed. Why don’t you ever listen to me?
It really doesn’t matter if someone takes off faster than you. They will eventually quit and your sure and steady progress will prevail.
It’s a real-life version of Aesop’s Tortoise and the Hare fable.
And Jumpy Friends proves it’s all true.
The other physiological strategy is determining your best position to play.
For me, it’s getting my phone into a position where my wrist is at a good angle (straight) so I don’t end up with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome again.
One of my cousins lays back with the phone on his chest while he’s watching a movie, which also puts the phone at a good angle and might even be a good idea if only he would insert a generous layer of tinfoil to protect his vital organs which are almost certainly being microwaved like that make-at-home movie popcorn with the real butter.
The bottom line here is that if you want to be a real player, you’ve got to make sure you stay fit and don’t get injured.
Maintain proper tapping form and don’t be stingy with the tinfoil.
The psychological strategies are a little more nuanced and their effectiveness depends on the personalities involved.
The Guilt Trip
The first psychological strategy is about addressing any personal guilt related to Jumpy Friends.
In short, if you use time to play Jumpy Friends that takes away from some other more valuable pursuit, you’re going to regret playing and you’re going to quit.
If you can’t think of any valuable pursuits you have in life, you can just skip the rest of this article and get back to jumping.
For the rest of you, you’ll need to find time where Jumpy Friends adds the joy of competition without subtracting anything more important from your life.
I find that I can jump while I’m reading a book and while I’m walking. My hand is otherwise unoccupied in these situations.
For me, I find that I can jump while I’m reading a book and while I’m walking. My hand is otherwise unoccupied in these situations and often complains of being rather bored, so this gives it something to do without causing me the guilt of knowing that it could be put to some better use on my behalf, for example, pressing the little buttons on my laptop in a pattern that results in this article, or maybe a better game this time.
I already mentioned movies as another time to play, and a friend of mine plays during boring meetings at work. (As a VP of a major corporation I might add.)
Whatever works for you.
The bottom line is you’re going to need to find a play time that works for both you and your hand, and consistently capitalize on it.
The possum strategy is best used in a real-time race.
In these races, you typically run as fast as you possibly can, neck-and-neck until someone quits and gets labeled as The Loser.
Nobody wants to be The Loser, so these races can go on and on and really become quite bothersome when the other person just won’t admit they’re obviously The Loser.
To deploy the Possum Strategy in this situation, simply pretend to quit.
You may have to endure some mockery, but be patient, you’re just strategerizing.
You may have to endure some mockery, but be patient, you’re just strategerizing. If you stay very still and don’t move for long enough, it takes away all the fun for your opponent, and they eventually quit to go look for something in the fridge.
When you’re reasonably sure they’re busy stuffing something into their pie hole, jump back to life and blow right past them with an appropriate flourishing gesture.
The one problem with this strategy is that your opponent may have enabled Sneaky Sheep Alerts and will be notified of your deception the moment you jump them. And further, if their pie hole is sufficiently cavernous, they maybe be able to quickly free up their hands to pursue.
Which leads to my third and final psychological strategy.
Total Psychological Annihilation
I saved this one for last because it’s my favorite.
I call it the nucular option. And I’m about to hand you the football.
The object of this stragety is to wreak complete and utter psychological devastation upon your opponent.
The object of this stragety is to wreak complete and utter psychological devastation upon your opponent and shock and awe them with such a powerfully demoralizing blow that they quit, never to return.
Sounds like fun, right? But how?
Well, first you give your opponent plenty of time to think you’ve given up. This might be on the order of days or even weeks.
Then, when you’re certain they’re not watching, you sneak up just behind them and get ready to make your move.
It’s important that at this point you have a good network connection, a solid block of time to jump, and most importantly, that it’s likely your opponent does not.
For example, a good time to deploy this strategy would be when you know your opponent is on safari.
Maybe stalk them on Facebook to find out.
Once all of these conditions are just right, make that last jump and then sprint for all you’re worth.
Go go go! Put as much distance between you as fast as you possibly can!
When your opponent comes back from safari and sees the huge gulf that now separates you, you can be assured that you will have delivered an incredibly demoralizing blow and the odds are high they won’t have it in them to pursue.
If, however, you only leave a small gap, or if you jump at a time when they can chase you as soon as they get the notification that you jumped, they’ll be much more likely to pursue.
Which is why you won’t give them this satisfaction.
Basic human psychology. Got it?
I think there are more strategies yet to be discovered, particularly in the area of the psychology of the game.
I’ve got another one I call “The Taunt” that I might share another day.
Do you have any favorite Jumpy Friends strategies?
And how have they spectacularly failed you?
P.S. And the answer to the question in my last post… the #1 Top Sheep is my mom! Thanks, mom, for playing my games! One of these days I’m gonna make you a better Spider Solitaire.
Download Jumpy Friends at JumpyFriends.com!
And don’t forget to play with a friend!