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Gaming on a college budget with Jump

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Gaming gets cheap with Jump, a new service released late last year that is perfect for those who want to play as many video games for as little cost as possible.

“Jump features a highly curated launch library,” said Jump founder Anthony Palma, in a press release. “The library will continue to grow as new games will be added each month.”

Jump features games created by independent developers – these games are called “indies.” Critically acclaimed games like Edmund McMillien’s “The End is Nigh” and the bizarre “Pony Island” are but two of the dozens of indie games.

“Discovering great content you may have never heard of is a great reason to join Jump,” said Palma. The service also benefits indie video game developers who work on smaller budgets and have less resources than large game companies.

Not only does Jump make it easy for the consumer to try out lesser known titles for a lower price than buying a game on other services such as Steam, but it directly helps the indie developers.

“Jump is a complementary source of revenue for indie developers beyond premium sales,” said Palma.

Jump is unique in that it provides fast and cheap games on the fly. The service utilizes HyperJump, a “proprietary game delivery technology that allows us to load games in under 60 seconds,” said Palma. It uses no hard drive space, so the user can download whatever they want, whenever they want.

“The ease of access would be a draw for non-gamers who are looking to try gaming,” said Palma. “You’re able to try a lot of games very quickly without the stress of buying.”

My time with Jump led me to discover hidden indie gems. The fast download time is no lie; I was able to download several games in less than a minute. From then on, the games could be accessed at any time and took up no space on my laptop.

I played “Pony Island,” which is one of Jump’s centerpieces. A winner of many awards, it was an odd puzzle game that takes the form of supernaturally possessed arcade game.

Another game I tried was “Nidhogg,” a wacky fencing game with simple graphics but engaging gameplay. I was pleasantly surprised to find this game was available here – it is a high-profile game, eespecially by indie standards, and goes for the same price as the subscription service if I were to buy it elsewhere. The service paid for itself in one sitting.

College students are attracted to Netflix and Spotify Premium for the large libraries of shows and music; Jump is the same idea.

“Our short-term goal is awareness and discovery of great indie game titles,” said Palma. “Our long term goal is to be the Netflix/Spotify of the gaming world, giving the user unlimited on-demand access to any type of game on any gaming device.”

The service itself has unlimited play for a monthly fee of $9.99, but for January, Jump is offering an early adopter price for just $4.99. Visit www.playonjump.com.

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