Four people, one arena and a shit load of crazy weapons. This is Hyper Jam! A neon-soaked arena brawler from Bit Dragon that perfectly defines the genre. It comes at you with a raging one-two or a suite of deadly weapons to shave off the competition. While its simplistic nature can be rather welcoming, its frantic and furious combat is not.
Developed for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, it takes you by the hand and slingshots you to the edge of the arena because apparently, there’s no love in war. Pitting up to four friends or AI with four levels of difficulty in matches, it tried and succeeded to keep the action close and your enemies down under.
A Little Bit of Everything… Sugar, Spice and everything that explodes!
The first thing one must understand about Hyper Jam is it’s an arcade party game at its core. Offering a free-for-all between players in a top-down perspective as you rack up points by damaging enemies, taking the killing shot or to be the last man standing in a round. With each round starting off unarmed, it’s a fist fight until someone grabs a rocket launcher and starts blasting someone off the face of the map. But while it is a game centered on the idea of weapons, your greatest weapon is still awareness and lightning fast reflexes. As each type of attack can be evaded or deflected back to its attacker in an instant with a perfectly-timed parry.
Should you be lucky or have godly fingers to propel your way to the scoreboard, it makes each of those succeeding matches quite a touch harder as its comeback mechanics kick in with its game-changing perk drafting system. The perk system which lets all players take as much as one per round but the catch… the lowest ranked player gets to choose first and the top dog can only take what’s left of it leaving them no choice. So you’re not only choosing what you get but what you don’t want others to obtain as well.
It’s a system that I find so interesting but also very risky. As perks could include a damage up that can be stacked to higher levels for devastating effects when paired with other perks like a freeze on hit. And this is where it really makes reflexes your greatest weapon to deflect an attack that could potentially destroy you in a split-second when your enemies deliberately try to score as little as possible to crank up their loadout in the late game as a player must survive a full round after getting enough points to win. Which means players and AI alike will be targeting you without fail until someone else catches up.
A Game of Tactics… and a Hell Lot of It!
It’s a game that is simply easy to learn and can be played in quick short bursts yet hard to master with its hidden complexities like a game of chess. But its flaw lies elsewhere. And that’s because there’s really nothing holding you to get that one more round factor after already playing a few with friends or strangers online. The so-called online mode which offers quick matches or custom-made rooms can be rather empty even at its first few weeks of release. And the blame goes towards its unrewarding rank progression system that never really gave anything for people to work with aside from taunts and skins and the fact that there’s really only one game mode to work with. It’s a solid one but then again, it’s the only one.
But with great power comes with even greater style. The 80’s era characters and neon-soaked visuals offer an almost embarrassingly good blend as a game. From the cool and suave to the mysterious and rugged. The characters that never really offer anything other than their striking forms puts the balance of fair play. While each of the six arenas present their own styles such as atop a Miami Hotel to a Neo-Tokyo subway filled with their own set of hazards and choke points as well as a killer synthwave soundtrack from the likes of Carpenter Brut, Dance With The Dead, Meteor and more.
Hyper Jam is an engaging brawler experience that you’ve got to experience to fully understand its core mechanics but it’s also a game you could simply bring over to a party and expect great fun out of it. From its perk drafting system and its frantic action-soaked gameplay, it’s definitely something that just about anyone can enjoy which is the main ingredient when it comes to multiplayer-based games. It does however come with its very limited arenas, minimal character roster and single game mode that could easily get tiring after a while but nonetheless, something you can pick up and play from time to time with friends for some quick and easy fun. It’s a game that I’d recommend to anyone that enjoys local versus mode of Broforce as much as we do.