Hive Jump is a Kickstarter project that bills itself as “one part Spelunky, one part XCOM” in a retro-style pixelart game. If it gets funded, it’ll also hit the Wii U without any additional stretch goals alongside PC.
Hive Jump sets players as Humanity’s only hopes against an encroaching alien threat. The solution? Blast every last one of them to heck. The game itself comes in two portions: a turn-based strategy mode, and a side-scrolling action-platformer mode versus the hordes of aliens waiting to bite your head off.
During real-time mode, you can jump into an alien hive either by yourself, or with up to four players in local or online multiplayer. Here, the mission for the J.U.M.P. troops is simply to get the backpack transponder to the alien queen and detonate the nuke. This mode will feature plenty of alien scum to kill, hidden relics and items to discover, and jetpacks. Oh, and permadeath. It appears it’s possible to lose the backpack transponder in hazardous locations which are impossible to retrieve. You then have to call it a loss.
What’s really cool is the Sprite Lamp tech in the game. Hive Jump has what the team calls “dynamic per-texel lighting”, which dynamically light up the dark and cramped (and procedurally generated) corridors with multi-colored lights depending on what weapons are being fired and where. Different weapons will reflect their glows on walls and enemies, as does the glow of your armor, and it makes the game look hella pretty.
In the turn-based mode, it channels XCom by having you manage basic overviews of bases for the J.U.M.P. Corps. During the turn, you have to choose from a variety of simple but tough options like fortifying bases or bombarding enemy alien hives before deciding which alien hive you’ll actively attack. With the possibility of failure during the real-time segments, the campaign can be changed.
Graphite Labs state up front that the Wii U version won’t launch at the same time as the PC version. Why? In their FAQ, they note the Wii U version will be “more than just a port” of the PC version. They note the Wii U title will have “special features” that make use of the platform, with further details to be revealed at a later date.
Music for Hive Jump is done by Big Giant Circles, who’ve done work on titles including Borderlands 2, Mass Effect 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Hive Jump is currently on Kickstarter. If funded, it’ll come to PC, Mac, Linux and the Wii U. Stretch goals also show hope for a Xbox One and PlayStation 4 debut.