Is Jump's Netflix-Style Indie Service Worth Your Money?
You might not have heard of the new subscription service called Jump. It's being marketed as a "Netflix for indie games", offering a plethora of games for $10 a month. It has a number of selling points, including a total lack of downloads -- all of its games can be played directly from the app, and all save data is stored in the cloud so you can switch between any of its supported platforms. Jump is currently in beta until July 24 and will see a full release later this year.
But is the service worth your time (and money)? Based on a number of factors, the answer is likely yes -- but it ultimately depends on your tastes in games. Here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of Jump.
$9.99 a month is not an insignificant amount of dough, but it is vastly preferable to alternatives such as Steam and Gamefly. The beta only has eight games on offer at the moment, but the total price for the games, if you were to purchase them separately on a service like Steam, comes out to about $70.
The monthly fee is also equal to the average price of the games available, so even with the math at its most basic, you're more than getting your money's worth if you're playing at least two games on Jump per month. This will only get better and better when the service actually launches, as Jump plans on adding between six and 10 games every month.
Pure numbers and savings are one thing, but it's ultimately a moot point if the games themselves are underwhelming. The most obvious downside to a service like this is that just like Netflix, you have no say in what games are available at any given time.
You also probably shouldn't expect to see too many games you recognize on Jump -- a big part of its goals involves curating overlooked indie games for users to discover. If you're hoping for high-profile indies like the latest Edmund McMillen game, you may want to look elsewhere. And although some games in the beta seem of dubious quality, there are a few titles that stand out.
Teslagrad, pictured above, is a Metroidvania-style platformer that has under 1,000 reviews on Steam -- but it has nevertheless gained a "Very Positive" rating on the platform. Also on the list is The Bridge, an acclaimed-but-obscure puzzle game with inspiration taken from M.C. Escher. Finally, Jump also gives you access to Always Sometimes Monsters, an emotionally story-driven RPG. Jump has made a significant effort to highlight games from a number of different genres, even in its currently limited offering.
It may still be too early to say for certain whether Jump will succeed in its aims of matching the quality of a service like Netflix, but the passion and effort being put into the platform is evident. Of course, it ultimately comes down to the games. Our recommendation is that you wait until Jump's full release, and then claim your 14-day free trial so you can see what games are on offer.
Try a couple out if they seem interesting. If you think you'll barely ever play games through Jump, you should probably pass. However, if you think you'll be playing more than one every month (and the service continues to host good games), the price tag is well worth it.
What are your thoughts on Jump? Let us know in the comments below!