Jamestown is an amazing indie top-down shooter. On the surface, it may seem as generic as shoot-em-ups come, but there are several little aspects of the game that all come together to produce an awesome experience. To start, there are all of the standard goodies that come with any decent space-shooter bullet hell: dynamic level and enemy types, four different ships with different special attacks, polished controls (don’t even think about using a mouse, though, go gamepad all the way), a variety of bonus challenges, and wonderful 16-bit pixel art and graphics.
Probably the coolest thing about this game is its storyline. I don’t remember ever being even remotely interested in the plot behind a shoot-em-up before Jamestown. The game takes place on Mars (OK, pretty standard), where a British colony in the 17th century (wait, what?) is on the defense against Spanish invaders and their allies, the aliens (I don’t remember this from any history class). The story that is told in between campaigns is poetic, reminiscent of the title cards featured in silent films. I thought it was a clever way to actually tie the game world and the levels together as one coherent storyline.
Finally, there are a bunch of other little tidbits that add to the general awesomeness. The soundtrack is worth listening to on its own. There is a four player cooperative mode, which admittedly I haven’t tried because single player was good enough for me. The learning curve is perfect for those that are new to arcade shooters. You can choose to play on baby mode (easy), or ramp it up to Legendary, which is what players do when they hate themselves and want to fail. Either way, there is something for every skill level out there.
A legendary challenge, for people who love to lose.
All in all, this is a solid game. As a player, I found that it was totally worth it for Final Form Games to dump most of their personal savings into its development. Does that make you want to play it more? It should!