Sharing a booth with Filthy Casual, Tree Fortress Games from Edmonton was in attendance at PAX South showing off their 16-bit game JumpJet Rex. The 2D-retro platformer is currently on Steam Early Access but don’t expect it to be lingering there long. According to Mike Gaboury, the art director and mastermind behind JumpJet Rex, they hope to have the game finished up by mid/end of March.

Whether at PAX South or at home, players currently are able to play around 16 levels of JumpJet Rex. These are solo missions but players can race against their own ghosts, friend’s ghosts and those on top of the leaderboards to improve their overall times. When all is said and done, the game will ship with 40 levels, co-op modes, deathmatch and battle modes. On the show floor, we could play either space or ice levels but expect other areas like a jungle and castle (think Bowser’s Castle) to follow.

At the beginning of the game, there is a brief story explaining how a gigantic asteroid is headed towards this aerospace world and officials are calling upon Rex to save the future of his fellow dinosaurs. Players will control this T-rex with interstellar jump boots as he traverses his way past obstacles such as light beams, falling spikes, and electric blocks. The goal for each level is the same but different. You’re always required to pass through hoops in order to open the final gate and complete the level. However, the number of hoops and the course layout change dramatically. Some levels are traditional follow the path levels, where others require the user to formulate their own best possible path, and there are some where you move back and forth while timing your jumps as not be destroyed by enemies and light beams. The levels are all three-star based and the more stars you earn the more the game opens up for you.

Inspired by older platformers, the game is rich with coins which can be cashed in for different characters and outfits. Mike explained there will be approx 3 million different combinations for users to try. And while at PAX South, Mike has received permission from Capy Games to add Zackasaurus from Super Time Force into the game. “We’ve always been fans of difficult old school platformers that challenged our skill and sanity, and as an independent studio we have the freedom to make the games that we want to play,” said Mike Gaboury, art director of TreeFortress Games. “With JumpJet Rex, we have created a game that is easy to pick up, fun to play, hard to master, and even harder to put down. Plus you get to play as a T-Rex with space boots, which is pretty rad!”

JumpJet Rex is currently selling for $9.99 on Steam.