[Beyond PlayStation] Hive Jump Review
Hive Jump from Graphite Lab has finally released on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about this 2D action platformer in our Hive Hive Jump review!
In Hive Jump you will take on the role of a member of the J.U.M.P. Corps and, as the name suggests, you dive into alien hives to completely destroy all enemies in your way. The levels are procedurally generated, and with the nasty aliens out to get you, not to mention the traps you must avoid, death is around every corner.
After creating a profile, the game will throw you into a short tutorial section. You will learn all the basics, like moving with the left analog stick and jumping with the ZL button. Once me airborne you can once again press and hold the ZL button to activate your thruster jet. You can aim your weapon with the right analog stick and will shoot with the ZR button, but you can’t just shoot non-stop, or else your weapon will overheat. You can also aim with the right analog stick and throw a grenade with the R button as long as you have any in stock – just be sure to stay clear of their blast since they pack a punch!
Hive Jump has to offer a Campaign mode, an Arcade mode, and a Challenge mode. In Campaign mode you will take on a four-act arc, starting with the first act where you, as part of the aforementioned J.U.M.P. Corps, must defend humanity’s core worlds from the Ordivicians’ invasion. Captain Hirose, with the aid of Qualia, will brief you on the danger you’ll face, and why you must act fast and kill all aliens as quickly as possible to save the survivors. If you don’t do your job, billions of humans could die. Colonel Keller will guide you on this mission, and since the good Colonel believes the J.U.M.P. Corps and its members are all-powerful and pretty much invincible, I suggest you take that with a grain of salt.
Once you start the campaign, your first task will be to select one of the bases under your control to spend your goo to send reinforcements to increase the number of troops, set a trap or power up a mech guardian for one turn to protect the location. Once you select to end your turn, the Ordivicians will have a go and will perform an action. If they attack you, you will get a short scene showing your troops defending their ground, and you will either be successful or lose the area. Once you’re close to an alien hive, you’ll be able to “jump it” to go on the offensive and try to defeat the smaller aliens, the larger troops… and the hive queen. You’ll need to make good use of the goo you collect to purchase new weapons and items or to upgrade what you already have because things might start off easy, but the aliens will start to overwhelm you shortly into your campaign run.
Once you complete a mission, you will be graded based on the amount of goo you’ve collected, the number of aliens you’ve killed, the major aliens you’ve killed, the ambushes you’ve survived, and the queens you’ve killed. You will lose points if the backpack is destroyed, or if you take too long to complete a mission, as well as for each of the Jumpers that died during said mission – death is part of the gameplay cycle so focus on keeping the backpack safe while a new Jumper is beamed into action.
Arcade, as the name suggests, is a bit of an arcade experience in which you select between the four available difficulties (Easy, Medium, Hard and Queen), select your loadout and are sent on your way. If you are killed (which will happen a lot), your backpack will be exposed, and enemies can damage it until it is destroyed. But worry not as once the short countdown ends a new soldier will pop into action destroying anything around it – make good use of this by moving the backpack close to a dense enemy location or to destroy a hive or two if possible – that is if you have the Telefrag utility equipped. As was the case for Campaign mode, you can unlock new weapons or upgrade the ones you have, or unlock new grenades and utilities by spending the goo you collect from destroying enemies, hives, and eggs.
There is a Codex section where you will be able to review your game stats, for things such as missions win, missions lost, ambushes survived, total kills for eggs, drones, buzzers, floaters, healers and more, how much goo you’ve collected, the relics you’ve recovered and the people you’ve rescued. One tab will allow you to review the relics you’ve found, while another gives you some valuable information on the aliens you have encountered. You can also check the Bios tab for information on the characters you meet in the campaign mode, and a Miscellaneous section where you can obtain data on the different factions at play and the locations you will visit.
Hive Jump is a fun single-player and multiplayer release that will keep you busy for a while thanks to its fast action, solid difficulty curve, and procedurally generated nature. The game is certainly not for everyone, but if you give it a chance, you will find an entertaining game to take on by your own or with friends by way of its local co-op.
This Hive Jump review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Graphite Lab.