Every so often, you run across a game that you weren’t expecting to be so good. A game that may have gotten mediocre reviews or just didn’t get that much attention when it was released. That game for me is Hive Jump.
Hive Jump released on the eShop in early 2019 by indie developer, Graphite Lab. The game plays out in the 24th century and humanity is at war with a hostile alien race. With mankind being outnumbered, their only hope is the J.U.M.P. Corps. That’s where you come in. You take on the role as a “JUMPER”. A kind of futuristic super-soldier with a jump pack and a gun.
Hive Jump starts off with a weird strategic base building sort of thing where you take turns making moves against the enemy army. It’s a weird addition to the game that never really amounts to much. It’s not bad, but it also feels unnecessary. When it’s your turn to attack, that’s when the action really starts.
Most of your time will be clearing out hives. The game plays like a side scrolling run n’ gun/Metroidvania mashup where you’re running around shooting everything that moves and destroying the hives that aliens are stemming from. So, you’re basically acting as an alien exterminator. Death comes around every corner, but the main thing that needs to be protected is your backpack. So, if you die, another soldier will respawn as long as your backpack isn’t touched. Once, the backpack is destroyed, its game over. It’s a weird concept, but works so well in this game.
As you kill aliens, you can collect their “goo” to use as currency to buy new weapons, grenades, nodes, etc. That’s where I had the most fun. There are tons of different types of equipment that you can purchase and upgrade. Yes, there’s a “grinding” aspect to the game which might turn some players off, but I really enjoyed tinkering around with different combinations of equipment.
As much as I liked Hive Jump, it’s not without its faults. The biggest being the lack of an in-game map. Every hive/cave is full of twists, turns and dead ends. I spent way too much time backtracking and roaming around just to find an exit. A simple map in the corner would have really helped. My other issue was the lack of a solid tutorial. I don’t need my hand held throughout a game, but with the exception of the controls, I had to figure everything else out on my own.
Faults aside, Hive Jump is an absolute blasty-blast to play! There’s something about jetpacking around while shooting that’s so much fun. There’s also quite a bit of content with tons of things to unlock. Even with the “grind”, things never really got repetitive for me. The levels always felt fresh and the boss battles were tough, but not impossible. Hive Jump may not be perfect, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun……and sometimes, that’s all that matters.