Jump Stars is an indie game developed by Jamit Games from Sussex, England. As a five-man indie team they’ve finally released their first game; it’s a party mini-game focused game with ten unique game modes to play all revolving around getting a high team score while still looking to get the most points yourself.
The game puts you in control of a cuboid contestant in a 2-4 player 2D arena with only three abilities: jump, punch left or right, and punch above. It’s quite simple but is all about staying focused and timing your jumps perfectly to avoid obstacles or to land on the points pad. The game is framed as a TV Gameshow with a host who seems to suffer from multiple personality syndrome; that being said his weird and crazy reactions do make for a good laugh but get repetitive very quickly and wish there was a way to shut him off after a while.
As mentioned earlier there are 10 unique mini-games that range from avoiding the swinging pole, avoid the huge slabs from crushing you, or keep eating pies to stop from dying from starvation. The game offers variety in a way but overall it feels like a same thing with a slight twist, the developers point out on their website that Jump Stars brings a new twist to the party game genre. That twist is players work towards a common goal of gaining team score but also having a competitive side by having players ranked at the end of the match with specific titles depending on their performance.
Visually the game has a striking art style with cartoonish graphics and characters in the shape of cubes rather than your usually humanoid shaped people. The levels range from more rustic wooden shack like areas to more sci-fi, these levels are built around the mechanics of each mini game so each one is unique. The audio isn’t very remarkable with the music being very generic gameshow style music, the host character is probably the best thing in this department but as mentioned earlier he eventually gets on your nerves and without a way to turn him off he can get quite annoying.
The game though fun does have its faults; one of the main ones is the game is only playable with a minimum of 2 players, this brings the issue of not being able to play the game unless you have someone else there with you. I understand it’s a party game but this makes the game basically obsolete when attempting to play solo. The next issue is one I’ve mentioned multiple times before, the game doesn’t have an options menu to allow you to change the audio levels; this is a pretty big oversite as to stop the host from blathering I need to fully mute the TV which kind of ruins it since the sound effects aren’t bad. And then an issue which is ingrained in the actual game is the content is lacking in variety and every game mode just feels like the same thing with a slight difference, with that the actual rounds are too short always feeling like it was ended a bit too soon.
Overall the game is an average mid-tier indie game that doesn’t live up to its potential. With it being restricted to at least 2 players it really lowers the actual times it’s possible to play it making it totally impossible for solo play limiting playability. The game also suffers from repetitive mini games after a few hours, although all of that is true it is a solid party game that I’d recommend to anyone who has people over often enough or someone with young children who would enjoy the simplicity.
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