Hyper Jam caught our eyes at PAX East as it stood out as one of the many multiplayer games we just wanted to keep playing. Developed by Bit Dragon, this stylish twin-stick arena brawler pits two to four players against each other to see who comes out on top.
Filled with 80’s neon nostalgia, the game takes places on arenas like a Miami rooftop or a subway station where the objective is to defeat your opponents and win rounds using weapons you pick up on the map. Once the match starts, you’ll need to act fast and pick up the weapon you want or else someone else will. Rocket launchers, bows, and pistols give you long-range firepower but our favorite weapon of choice was the lethal katana and other melee gems that got us up close and personal with our foes.
Expect a lot of flash and bang during every round too as the stages themselves can turn on you especially as you near sudden death. During this phase, unique stage effects come into play such as incoming explosions or a force field that slowly makes the stage smaller by the second. Even when you die during a round, you can still get revenge by firing a laser anywhere on the map further damaging those still alive. There’s a lot of action going on during a match making for some thrilling moments and close calls.
When someone wins a round, all players can select perks for the next one. Those in last place get first dibs so the game does throw you a bone if you aren’t doing so well. Perks themselves can make your next round a lot easier and include health regen, speed boosts, and even a cool vampire mode that sucks the health out of anyone you hit. Win enough rounds and be the last player standing and you’ll win the game–a simple outcome after a thrilling journey.
Though it may seem like any old brawler, Hyper Jam features enough action–local or online–that will switch on your competitive side each time you play. Based on what we saw, the game is shaping up to be one neon-soaked good time. Expect it out for PC this year.