Hyper Jam is a retro style arena brawler where you choose between four different characters and a variety of maps each with a unique coat of paint. This is a multiplayer focused game featuring engaging battles for both local and online play. This is complemented by a fantastic neon colored art style and a killer electronic soundtrack. This all blends together to make a game dripping with style and personality.
When you first start up the game you will be thrown into a tutorial teaching you the essentials of Hyper Jam. This includes weapon variety, the dash technique and the parry ability. The gameplay of Hyper Jam is fast and frantic, with different weapons suiting different play styles. Matches are contested between two to four players and are divided into rounds, which end when only one player remains. At the end of each round the players, in order from last place to first place, may choose one of the randomly given perks, ranging from freezing an opponent for a few valuable seconds to confusing the opponent and inverting their controls to an increase to the player’s health, speed or damage. This is a fantastic mechanic that helps balance the game and allows the player in last place to never feel out of the game.
As stated before, there are four different characters which each look unique, however, they are nothing more than a skin swap and there are no character-specific abilities, and I wish there was a bit more to it than that. The stages, however, handle this better with stages having hazards which will always make the player be aware of their surroundings.
The other notable problem with Hyper Jam is the lack of any substantial single-player content aside from matches against a computer controlled AI, this would not be a problem because the game is clearly a multiplayer experience, however there is a severe lack of player online, this is frustrating because the gameplay is solid and very enjoyable whenever you can find a game. Despite that Hyper Jam is a sensational game to play with friends in its local multiplayer mode.
The art direction of Hyper Jam is beautiful, with is 80’s inspired neon look, with pinks and purples being the most dominant colors. The sound design is truly the standout part of the game with classic 80’s style techno being played at high speeds during matches, which always leaves you exhilarated and ready for the next round.
Hyper Jam is a game that developer Bit Dragon clearly put a lot of heart into, you need only look at the visuals and soundtrack to know that, with the retro 80’s feel coming across marvelously. The gameplay as well is tight, well balanced and fast-paced, this means you will never feel bored while during a match. The perk system is a great way to keep every round feeling fresh and unique and allows even the player in last place to stand a chance.
Hyper Jam is unique enough to stand out above the competition and become the indie hit of 2019. My only true gripes with the game is the lack of single player content, lack of differences between characters and very few players playing online at this point, however, if what you are looking for is a competitive couch co-op arena brawler bursting at the seams with style, then Hyper Jam is a game for you.
Hyper Jam is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.