Jamestown: Legend of the
Rarely are there arcade shooters as epic, gorgeous, playable, and steeped in story as Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony. A release from Final Form Games, Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony combines stunning pixel art with a vertically-scrolling top-down shooter (shmup), all set in a 17th century colony on Mars where Spanish Conquistadors have teamed up with native Martians to keep the new settlers away. What you end up with is a superb arcade game that's easy for beginners to get into but still a challenge to master.
To an outsider, "bullet hell" shmups such as these look like games filled with swarms of bees you have to somehow maneuver around. Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony preserves that same intense look, but in practice, it's oh-so easy to play. The mechanics focus on three main moves: regular attacks, special attacks, and "vaunt". Vaunt is an ability that can be activated after collecting enough gold from defeated enemies. Hit the trigger and a shield pops up, clearing nearby bullets but also giving you a damage multiplier. While vaunt is running, your score is also doubled, so the key to getting a spot on the leaderboards (which is kind of what Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is all about) is to keep vaunt active as long as possible. See? Much easier than marching through a rainstorm without getting wet!
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony supports up to four players on the same computer, so if you've got enough gamepads, keyboards, and mice available, you'll have an awesome time with your pals. You are given a choice of four ships that can be unlocked from the "shoppe" after picking up enough coins. Each ship plays differently and allows you to customize the experience according to your own style. Want to barrel straight ahead and shoot big guns? There's a ship for that. Prefer to play it tactical and strike from any angle? There's a ship for that, too!
Analysis: Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony was designed to be accessible. Instead of catering to the small but strong legions of shmup fans, Final Form Games created a game that would bring new players to the genre and show that shooters are more than pixel-perfect dodging, swarms of enemies, and nigh-impossible bosses who will destroy you in a single shot. That's where you, casual player, have the lovely invitation to come in, sit down, and enjoy!
Even though Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is open to all players, that doesn't mean it's a walk in ye olde parke. Almost half a dozen difficulty levels allow you to choose just how devilish the game can be, starting with "normal" and going all the way up to "judgement". Normal is great for most casual players and anyone who isn't confident with their shmupping skills. Everything else is there for experts and people who want to master the game inside and out and keep challenging themselves after weeks of play. Replaying levels and getting a better score is also a key factor in the game, as the campaign ends after a handful of levels but encourages you to go back and aim for perfection.
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is never boring. It's also never insanely over-the-top difficult (unless you want it to be!). The story progresses after each level and is wildly interesting thanks to its mix of history, science fiction, and, well, aliens. The soundtrack is even phenomenal, featuring an orchestral score by the classically-trained Francisco Cerda. Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is one indie game that's got something for everyone.
P.S. There's also a nice little piece of DLC available titled Jamestown: Gunpowder, Treason, & Plot, featuring three new ships!
Get the full version
Mac OS X:
Get the full version
Get the full version (Desura)