Jamestown+ is an enhanced port for the PS4. It takes place in an alternate timeline where the British have colonized Mars in the 17th century. All is peaceful until Martians and Spanish invaders start destroying the colonies. Think of it like a sci-fi take on Plymouth Rock. It’s an interesting premise, to be sure, noted with fake historical like facts. Nothing amazing, but it sets up a nice background.
The game is framed as a vertical shooter like Ikaruga, or Radiant Silvergun. Players can take on seven missions, challenges, or other modes to test their skills out, each with a varying difficulty settings. There are twelve ships in total and some can even be modded like with different ammo types. Vessels have one main weapon, a sub-weapon, and a mode called Vaunt, which boosts attack power and generates a temporary shield. There are tons of collectables and upgrades to unlock via gold collected in the stages. Whether one’s alone, or grouped together with three other friends, Jamestown+ won’t be easy so keep a bucket of ice water next to the couch.
Visually, the game looks fantastic. It’s presented in a crisp 16-bit style, oozing in color. Again, the setting is unique, making it strange to see no one tackling something like this before. Between the killer soundtrack and sound effects, the entire experience is an immersive, bullet hell dreamscape. It may be a short game, but those extras are worth fighting for, most of which are new additions for this port. The PC version was great, but Jamestown+ is refinement on what was already an amazing game.
Jamestown+ is an awesome, punishingly difficult game that’s hard to put down. It’s a great game to pop out every now and again especially with a few friends around. The pick up and play mentality would have worked so much better on the PS Vita, but hey, that’s just a wish. It’s not to be taken lightly, but this indie will astonish and delight, even if that time is short.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: The publisher provided a review code for the game. This article was originally published on March 22, 2015 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.