TA@EGX 2016: Pixel Blimp Reveals Zone 100 and Puts Jump Stars Through Its Paces

By Rebecca Smith,
Last year at EGX, we revealed Pixel Blimp's upcoming title Jump Stars. Not only was the game at EGX again this year, it was joined by another of their titles that was being revealed for consoles. We took a look at both of them.

Jump Stars

Jump Stars is a dangerous game show by all definitions of the word. It is led by a "fiendishly ominous" gameshow host, is filmed in a derelict television studio and can be fatal to its participants in many, many ways. It's a good job, then, that the four cube-shaped contestants can seemingly respawn at the end of every round. Players must work together to increase the size of the prize pot by avoiding obstacles, collecting objects and activating platforms that match the colour of their character. However, at any time, players can turn against each other. By killing your opponents and being the last man standing at the end of the round, you will get a much bigger share of the prize pot to take home at the end of the show (or you'll be top of a leaderboard — you don't actually win any money).

We played a four round match that showcased one game type in every round. The first round featured Tailspin, a game where players had to jump over a giant rotating arm. It was a round that was very reminiscent of Wipeout, only if you didn't jump over the arm then you were swiped off the platform to your death instead of a much safer pool of water. The second round was a game called Hunger Pains. Not only must players activate the coloured platforms, they must also eat pies to stop themselves from shrinking away.

The third game appeared to be much simpler with players seemingly only having to activate the platforms and avoid a couple of small spiked rollers, but there was a catch. After a while, the game would throw a wildcard into the mix that switched up the rules. Our first wildcard reversed the direction of travel, meaning that you had to move the joystick right if you needed to move your character to the left. This round was particularly disastrous as the first wildcard managed to wipe out the entire team, the round only being won by the player who managed to die a split second after the others.

The final and fourth round was one that I had seen last year, where players had to keep moving to avoid being crushed by giant logs that fall from the ceiling. The full game features 10 different mini-games, including the above four and another called Cool Aid, where competitors need to stand in the snow to prevent themselves from melting in a stage that is currently on fire. Take a look at what can happen if you annoy the game show host:

You can either make friends with strangers or turn your friends into strangers as you play to win when the game is released in December.

Zone 100

You've likely not heard of Zone 100, but you may have heard of Free The Network, a free endless runner game that can be found on iOS, Google Play and Windows Phone 8. Well, they're the same game. Now that the title is making its way to the Xbox One, the game has received a new name to go alongside the changes and tweaks that will be present in this upgraded version of the title.

The game has a basic appearance. Players control a white ball on a single coloured background, while the obstacles present themselves as black silhouettes. Not only is the game's appearance simple, so is the premise. Like any endless runner, players have little control over the forward momentum of the ball. Instead, players must roll left and right to prevent themselves from crashing into a pillar or archway. There is the option to boost forwards to improve on your time, or you can slow things down to help you to avoid an obstacle a bit more easily. The latter function is only limited use, lasting for a few seconds before players go back to their normal speed so that it is impossible to take on the entire levels in slow motion.

While an endless runner doesn't lend itself to levels, there are zones — 100 of them, in fact. If you die, you are placed back at the start of the zone in which you died. However, those who really fancy a challenge will be more interested in Hardcore mode. This mode offers players a single life. Once you die, you go back to the start of the game. There is also no slow motion feature to help you out. You can see for yourself what you can expect in this old trailer for the mobile version of the title:

In case you were wondering, there will be an achievement for completing all 100 zones of the game in Hardcore mode. Will you go the distance when the game is released later this year?
Rebecca Smith
Written by Rebecca Smith
Rebecca is the Newshound Manager at TrueGaming Network. She has been contributing articles since 2010, especially those that involve intimidatingly long lists. When not writing news, she works in an independent game shop so that she can spend all day talking about games too. She'll occasionally go outside.