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Hive Jump Is Spelunky Starship Troopers

My father's name was Big McLargehuge!

Not the laziest x + y comparison in the world because not only is Hive Jump a ridiculously murderous co-op roguelike (with a rather nifty death mechanic) it’s also set in caves. So there you go. I’m a genius, me. Developers Graphite Lab, who’ve previously specialised in licensed games, are looking for $50,000 on Kickstarter to make their twin-stick alien blastinator. It looks beautiful, the demo build I was sent plays wonderfully and you can see the pitch below.

The demo – which is inexplicably not available on the Kickstarter page, come on folks, we’ve been over this – is excellent. They’ve nailed movement, the jetpack being a particular joy to control and with the exact right amount of flight time to make it useful but not overpowered. The speed of it all is exhilarating, aliens swarming at incredible rates, guns offloading dozens of rounds a second… There’s really no messing around, it’s immediate and constant action.

I didn’t play co-op, but the elements there to support it are clever. You can respawn reasonably quickly after death, but during that time your backpack is vulnerable and you have to retrieve it afterwards. If it’s destroyed you’re done, so team-mates will need to protect it while they wait for you. Similarly, the three different styles of gun (with more to follow, according to the Kickstarter) complement one another at different ranges. One takes quite a lot of charge time, so isn’t so good used on your own, but with a protective frontline of buddies will be useful for bringing down larger enemies.

It’s actually Graphite’s second shot at the prize, after trying and failing earlier this year for $75k. In an update to that Kickstarter they explain why they were cancelling and that they’d manage to secure some funding to lower the goal for the next attempt. As with most failed post-mortems, it’s an interesting read.

Kickstarter take two does seem to be going a lot better, and they’ve put out way more content for it. Here’s the archive of their first Twitch stream, while the latest update talks about new monster types and their Reddit AMA.

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Ben Barrett

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