The key to playing Bump 'n' Jump is not to kill a single car for an entire set. If you successfully complete a set without smashing another car you will be awarded a 50,000 point bonus. This sounds easy but it can be very difficult. In fact you may have to kill yourself to keep from landing on or smashing another car. It is worth killing you own car for the points because you will be awarded a bonus car for every 30,000 points you receive.
A rock barrier will separate the road in certain areas after level 3. Always go to the left, just as you would on a jump from the rock roadway. If you are in trouble on a rock set, jump; and if it is not possible to jump, simply pull back on the joystick until you come to a complete stop. Your enemies, with the exception of the tanks, will drive past you. You must regain your speed before you can jump, so only use this as a last resort.
Rock trucks can be used to your advantage if you learn to watch them until they are about to drop their rocks. Simply wait behind them until the last possible second (this will draw the other enemy cars closer) then jump. Usually the other cars will run into the rocks and die. Be careful when driving next to dump trucks because all you must so to smash one is touch it. This can ruin a 50,000 point run very quickly.
An additional way to get out of a tight spot is by jumping from one side of the screen and coming back on the other. You can only do this when the road is the widest. You will need to be going at top speed, jump and hold the joystick towards the side of the screen and you will come back on the other side safely, the enemy cars will now be out of your way.
Learn to recognize your signals, such as the sound the exclamation point makes and the rock funnel your car will go through before a jump from a rocky roadway. The funnel is always the signal of a jump. Whether you're on the ground or in the air move left when you see it. Listening for the high beep made by the exclamation point allows you to tell when a jump is coming without making you look up at the exclamation point and take your eyes off the road.
If you accidentally or purposely kill a car, continue killing them because you will be given bonus points for each car killed. When smashing a car, you will travel in the opposite direction of the collision. Try not to hit cars in front of you because you will go backwards and lose speed. It is best to wait until you are in front of the car, then slow down and hit it. You will regain the speed you lost from slowing down then you bounce off the other car. If you are in a collision and lose control, jump to regain it. If you are landing on a car it is best to jump again when you hit it to keep from losing control.
Bonus cars are awarded for every 30,000 points up to 990,000. When the game clocks (you score more than 1,000,000 points) the score will revert back to zero. If your score is for example 975,000 and you complete a perfect set, your score will then become 25,000. Note however in this scenario that you will not receive a bonus car for passing 990,000. When getting close to the 1,000,000 mark, be careful of this. If you were on 955,000 points when you complete the perfect set, you will then get 1,000,000 and miss out on bonus cars for 960,000 and 990,000.
Try to learn the courses. Each time you complete a course try to remember it. If you die in a certain area remember it so you don't make the same mistake again. Luckily you can start a game from the point you finished if you put another quarter in fast enough. This will help you memorize a course you always die on.
To use the following strategies you must be able to complete the first three levels easily. Although the first three levels are fairly simple, here are some tips that may help your score.
Level 1 has only short jumps and the dump trucks will not drop rocks. Therefore you need only wait until you see the water before jumping. Then stay in the middle of the screen until you clear the jump. You will only see one island on these jumps. This is the island which appears before the end of a jump from land in later sets. When you are on the narrow bridge and spot this island, it is always safe to jump and move to the center of the screen.
Level 2 has two long jumps from land. Make sure to recognize the rock funnel before the long jumps then move left to the bridge. When you see the rectangular island, jump from the bridge back to the road. The bridge jumps in this level are short.
Level 3 will introduce you to a split, which is simply a part of the road where the rocks cut it into two segments. The portion of the road on the left is narrow almost like the bridge from a land jump. The right-hand side of the road is half as wide as the normal road, which is about the same width as a normal bridge over water. The easiest way to traverse these splits is to simply jump and land on the narrow lane to the left. Follow this lane until you see the end of the split and then jump again.
Level 4 is where the real strategy to mastering the game comes in. The first three levels are unique, meaning you will not see them for the rest of the game. After level 3, a patter of five repeating stages begins. If the important characteristics of these patterns are learned the game is easily mastered. In other words, if you learn patterns for levels 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8; you have learned the patterns for the rest of the game, as they keep repeating in order.
The screen changes color depending upon the season. The seasons are not important with the exception of summer. In the summer, the dump trucks usually will not drop rocks. Level 4 is a summer set so remember that you can drive behind the dump trucks as much as you like.
There are four kinds of jumps in these levels. Jumps one and two are short and long jumps from a rocky roadway. The short jump has only the rectangular island and can be cleared without using the narrow bridge to the left. The long jumps from the rocky roadways differ in length and have many square islands. You must use the bridge to the left on these jumps. These two jumps henceforth will be referred to as roadway jumps short and long. The other two jumps are from normal bridges. There is a short jump which can be cleared very easily. The long bridge jump is a little more difficult due to its length. To clear this jump you must be traveling 180 mph and jump at the last possible second. It is best to try to have your speed at 220 MPH when approaching these jumps so you you won't have to wait until the last second to jump.
Level 4 is the easiest of the five repeating pattens. It begins with a split, then a long roadway jump, another split and another long roadway jump. Then you will come to a bridge. Do not jump once you are on this bridge because a short bridge jump is coming soon. When you hear the exclamation point, jump, and be prepared to jump again soon. The short segment of bridge you will land on is not long enough for you to jump and land on again. This type of jumping with only a short interval in between is called a double-jump because of the two consecutive jumps. After the double-jump, you can relax while you drive on a bridge for a short while. It is sage to jump here if necessary. When you leave the bridge, jump and go left because a split is approaching. Stay on the left side of the split until you are near the end, then jump. You will fly over a rock funnel and land at the entrance of a short roadway jump. Jump again and stay in the middle of the screen. When you land do not jump because there is a long bridge jump approaching. It is important to be in the center of the road so you do not get killed when the road becomes a bridge. Gain speed and wait until the last possible second before jumping. The screen will speed up if you make this jump: do not panic or think the set is over because there will be a short bridge jump right after the long one. This is called a long-short double-jump.
Level 5 is almost identical to level 4 except that after the second long roadway jump you will come directly into a rock funnel. This funnel leads into a very short roadway jump. The rest of the course is identical to level 4.
Level 6 is unique. Forget all previous rules when learning this course. Just learn it and remember it. It is not that difficult but it is much different than the other courses. The course will begin with a rocky roadway, then open up to a full road. Do not be fooled because you are driving on a complete road, because double-short roadway jumps are approaching. You will notices that neither of these jumps has the rock funnel possessed by all the other roadway jumps in the game, and the second doesn't even have the rectangular island. Just as you complete these two jumps prepare for a long roadway jump without a funnel. A short distance after this jump, another short roadway jump appears. This one has a rock funnel but ends in a roadway split. If you are on the left side (as you should be), this will be no trouble for you. You will drive through more rocky roadway before coming to a bridge. It is safe to jump at the beginning of this bridge if necessary, but do not jump once you have been on it for a few seconds because a short bridge jump is approaching. Again you will drive through some rocky roadway until you approach another long roadway jump without a rock funnel. It is important to jump off the narrow bridge on the left side as soon as you see the rectangular island because at he end of this jump is a short bridge with a short bridge jump at the end of it. After the short bridge jump you will approach a rock funnel which leads into a short roadway jump. Soon after this jump, you will come to the only rock funnel in the game that does not lead to a roadway jump. Instead, it simply funnels into a bridge. The rest of the course is roadway until you come to the final jump. This is another short roadway jump without a rock funnel.
Level 7 starts out with a double-bridge jump, so don't jump at the beginning until you see the water; then wait until you see the water again. There is one long roadway jump a short distance after the double jump. This jump ends on a bridge, so be sure to jump off the narrow bridge on the left when you see the rectangular island. This bridge does not lead into a jump, so it is safe to jump if necessary. The course will cross one other short bridge which does not lead to a jump. It will be to your advantage to notice when you cross this bridge because the next one has a triple-short bridge jump. It is identical to the double jump series on levels 4 and 5, except it has one more segment. This is followed by a long stretch of rocky roadway with many splits. Often you will jump out of a split and see another. Attempt to land on the left-hand side of the next split if possible. The last jump of this set is a short roadway jump.
Level 8 is difficult, but if you can consistently complete it you will have mastered the game. The course starts out with a rocky roadway leading to a standard long roadway jump. After this jump, the course will go through a series of splits. Try not to jump unless it is necessary because you will need your speed for the upcoming jumps. After the third split, the road will come to a bridge which leads to a long bridge jump. This jump is difficult because you have to land on a small island. To reach this island you must be traveling 180 MPH and jump at the last second. If you are traveling 200 MPH or more, you must jump about two car lengths before the end of the bridge. After landing on the bridge, you must jump immediately or you will crash. You will then land on a bridge which leads quickly into a long bridge jump. This one is standard but difficult, because you don't have much time to bring your speed back up to 180 MPH before jumping. The rest of the course is comprised of rocky roadway with many splits. The course ends with a short roadway jump.
From level 9 on patterns 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 repeat, however dump trucks can now dump multiple loads.