PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Jamestown
Developed by: Final Form Games
Published by: Final Form Games
Released: June 8, 2011
Available on: macOS, Windows
Genre: Shoot 'em up
ESRB rating:
Number of players: 1-4 (local co-op)
Price: $9.99

Note: As of August 1, 2019, a remastered version, called Jamestown+, has been announced. As a result, consider this review to be a taste of what may be to come....

In 1619, Sir Walter Raleigh learns of the disappearance of the British colony of Roanoke. Feeling that he needs to find a way to reclaim honor to his name, he vows to travel to the New World to discover the lost colony. So he climbs aboard the next ship to Mars in order to fulfill his quest!

Wait, what?

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is a top-down shooter with quite a bit of artistic liberty with historical accuracy. You start by playing Sir Walter Raleigh, who flies his spacecraft over the surface of Mars, blasting Spanish forces and bizarre Martian life forms. As you progress through the levels, you'll be able to unlock three other historic characters (John Smith, Virginia Dare, and Joachim), each with their own ships and different weapon styles.

Jamestown
Highlights:

Strong Points: Short levels; great music; catchy and addictive gameplay; lots of bonus levels and challenges
Weak Points: Those who are really, really good at these kinds of games might find it a bit short
Moral Warnings: Exploding aliens and ships; minor language

The game is done in a pixillated style, reminiscent of early PlayStation games, or some of the later Super Nintendo games. You fly over the different areas, dodging enemies and their weapons fire while returning fire of your own. The music is catchy and dramatic, and also does well to capture the feel of the game. The controls are sharp and responsive, and very flexible. You can play with game controllers, mouse or keyboard – or even all four if you have enough players to gather around your machine! One button will fire your primary weapon, one for your secondary, and a third will trigger your “vaunt,” or shield, when it is ready.

Up to four people can play the game simultaneously, but multiplayer is local only. You can't team up to play with friends online. Part of the fun of the game is to experiment with the different flyers. Each one has its own unique weapons, and it can take a bit of strategy to master each one. And mastering at least one is essential to get through the game.

As you complete each level, you will earn doubloons, which allow you to purchase various things from the store. Each level can be played at different degrees of difficulty, but there's a catch. By completing the first three levels, you will be able to purchase all of the flyers. But in order to get to the fourth level, you need to play through the other three at the second level of difficulty, called Difficult. The fifth level is only unlocked by completing all the previous levels at the third level of difficulty, called Legendary. This takes a lot of skill, a hair-trigger, and of course a healthy amount of luck. Fortunately, there aren't any random elements to the game, so by playing through the levels repeatedly, you could learn patterns and placements of enemies to maximize your own abilities. Playing through each level doesn't take too long – you'll typically be at the boss fight within five minutes of starting, if you survive that long.

Jamestown
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 84%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9-/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 92%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

For those that have completed all the levels, there are a lot of challenges that can be gone through as well, including survival challenges (see if you can last 60 seconds!) and a Gauntlet mode, where you can try to finish the entire story in just one run. There also are two more levels of difficulty, with the highest one called Judgment. Many of these need to be purchased with the in-game doubloons, so players are encouraged to play through the levels repeatedly. The game also has leaderboards where you can compare your scores to others. If that wasn't enough, there also is one DLC available, where you can purchase three new characters and ships, including Guy Fawkes. This DLC does cost real-world money, but only $2.99.

In terms of moral concerns, there isn't a lot to be worried about here. Violence consists of ships exploding or, in a few cases, Martian critters exploding into green goo. There was one instance of the word “h*llish” that I encountered. This game is about as clean as they come.

All in all, Jamestown is an entertaining entry into the shooter genre, and one that my son enjoyed playing alongside me (I needed to test out the multiplayer aspects, after all). Even though this is an older game, it's still worth a look. With the recently announced Jamestown+ that is coming out in 2019, (for PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch) it could be good practice for the next one!

About the Author

J. Todd Cumming

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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