I was given a chance to try out an early build of Graphite Lab’s Hive Jump. The following preview is based on what I have played so far and what I infer from their Kickstarter campaign.
Some of the greatest Science Fiction films are Aliens and Starship Troopers. These movies are filled with rough and tough mercenaries with big guns and bigger attitudes, blasting away monsters that come in droves. Hive Jump is inspired by these elements and is shaping up to be an awesome game.
Pixels have taken over PC gaming since Minecraft’s success and I couldn’t be happier. Hive Jump looks great, combining that beloved retro style with modern techniques. The game utilizes a powerful lighting tool known as Sprite Lamp, adding to the overall tone and atmosphere of the game. Sprite Lamp, the backgrounds, the environments, and the sheer ferocity of the enemies is molding Hive Jump into an interesting piece of Sci-Fi.
Players will be donning the persona of the typical space marine, lugging around heavy armor and heavier weaponry. Each weapon is upgradeable with the goo collected from fallen foes. Adding to the armory are upgrades scattered throughout the maps. Players will have to balance their weaponry while fighting off wave after wave of nasty bugs. There are also plans for a strategic campaign mode that lets players plan out each precise strike.
What I found most interesting about the demo is the speed at which the game attacks the player. While this may not be the case in the final version, I found myself quickly overwhelmed on single-player mode, but that just made me hungry for more bug goo. Luckily, on a respawn, players blast away aliens from the sheer force of their drop into the hive. This is similar to how arcade beat-em-ups would treat coming back to life, and the mechanic fits well into the theme and the gameplay.
Each weapon feels different and their upgrades are always a treat to use. Although, I did have a lot of trouble using the charge beam; it took way too much time to build into a lethal dose. As I mentioned earlier, these bugs don’t wait around, nope they filleted me out and waited for my clone to drop from the sky. Let’s just say I fed a lot of bugs on my first couple drops.
Unfortunately, the demo lacks the collecting and upgrading mechanics, but I can’t wait to see how those are implemented further. As the game is developed more and more weapon ideas are sketched out. I’m hoping to see TONS of unlockable content including weapons, areas, modes, and characters. Already there are plans to bring Bart from Aegis Defenders into the hives. Multiplayer should also prove to be great, but I hope to see something new come out of playing with friends that I haven’t seen already.
What impressed me was Graphite Lab’s love for other developers. The Hive Jump Kickstarter page actually holds several other games in development. Graphite Lab, unlike most developers, is actually spreading out the spotlight instead of the typical “Look at me and my game! Give me money!” stance. It is humbling to know that these developers aren’t necessarily out there to fill their pockets, at least alone. They’re willing to spread the joy of gaming, no matter who is making the game.
All in all, I can’t wait to see what else Hive Jump will have in store for players on its release. If you need me, I’ll be throwing grenades down the throats of murderous insects. Private Alex of the Giga 304th Battalion signing off.