Want Indie Games On-Demand? You Need to Check Out Jump
It's no secret that good indie games get buried. With hundreds of game releases each day and platforms that support a massive amount of games, there's only so much one person can sift through to find that next, undiscovered gem.
Jump, an on-demand, video games subscription service, aims to fix that problem.
For $9.99 a month, subscribers have unlimited access to a curated library of indie games. If it's in the library, you can play it when you want, where you want -- all you need is a computer and an internet connection. With more than 60 titles currently playable on the site, Jump is set to become the Netflix of the gaming world.
If you want to know how Jump measures up against the likes of Steam and GOG, you may be surprised to know the team at Jump are carving out a niche market in the gaming industry all on their own.
Look at all those lovely indie titles.
Aesthetics and Mechanics
Much like Steam and GOG, users have the option of downloading the Jump client to their computer or accessing it via the web. The major difference is this: games are available to play immediately and take up little to no storage space to run.
Once you boot up Jump, you're greeted with gameplay videos from featured games and have the option to see more information or hop right into the game. Browse by featured categories like "Award Magnets" or "Off the Charts", or go the more traditional route and peruse by genre. You can also hover over individual game cards to see a short description of what you're about to get into (though some of them get cut off from time to time).
The game pages on Jump may feel a bit sparse compared to what you see on Steam or GOG. However, all of the essential information is there, such as videos, screenshots, descriptions, dev studio, publisher, rating, platform, supported controllers, and genre. At the time of this writing, there aren't any community options or review capabilities -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing. You get to play staples in the indie arena and explore unheard-of titles without anyone's two cents to sway your opinion.
Game data and nothing else. (Game pictured is Balthazar's Dream)
Once you select a title and click on "Play Game", it takes less than a minute to load before you're on your way. How's it so fast? Jump uses special tech to keep you gaming without frying your computer's RAM or storage. According to the Jump website:
Using its HyperJump game delivery technology, the Jump service provides players with the same latency-free, high-quality experience as a game that is fully installed onto their device, but without long download times and without requiring large amounts of disk space.
Furthermore, there aren't any in-game ads or microtransactions to interrupt your gaming experience. When you're done, save your progress and rest easy knowing that you can pick up right where you left off.
Jump's Game Library
I was pleasantly surprised to see a healthy mix of games from well-knowns like Always Sometimes Monsters and Pony Island to sleeper hits like Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor and Life Goes On: Done to Death. There's plenty to play or rediscover with the ability to game nearly anywhere you go. Right now, Jump has more than 60 titles to play to your heart's content.
If you're new to the indie scene, Jump is a great way to get a feel for what makes indie titles so different from AAA games -- and explore a solid selection of them. If you're an indie aficionado, Jump presents an opportunity to easily jump in and out of your favorites and inexpensively sample new games.
The Jump Windows client at full screen during gameplay.
(Game: The Bridge)
We all know indie games can be hit or miss, but the curation factor adds to Jump's value. According to the Jump website, 6-10 new games will be added each month. Games currently in the catalog have a shelf life of at least 12 months before they disappear -- though developers do have the option to leave their games on the site for longer periods of time.
If you're comparing Jump to Steam or GOG, you're making a mistake. At its heart, Jump is a wonderful discovery tool for indie enthusiasts who have a desire to explore them all without breaking the bank. Since each game is curated by the Jump Team, you don't have to sift through the clones and dregs that occasionally work their ways into Steam. You can instead focus on playing solid indie titles. For the $9.99 per month price tag, it's well worth the cost.
Users can try Jump free for 14 days before the monthly subscription fee kicks in. It is currently available on PC, Mac, and Linux, and supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive VR devices.