Category Archives: Indie Games

For all of the small Indie Games. We love them, and they should have their own category.

Jamestown Review

Jamestown ($9.99 http://store.steampowered.com/app/94200/?snr=1_4_4__13):

Alright, so Jamestown went faster than expected (although I have not finished it) and I figured I’d write a review already since I have an overall opinion for the game.

First, a trailer:

So once again, if you watched the video you know what it’s about.  If you didn’t it’s basically the Spanish attacking England in 1619, but with aliens.

The game itself starts off with 8-bit visuals and some fantastic music.  Followed up by your start screen.  You will be taken to a map with 5 different levels and The Gauntlet(which must be unlocked of course).  There are multiple difficulty levels which include, Normal, Difficult, Legendary, Divine, and Judgment (which must be unlocked).  Here are some helpful hints so that you only have to play through each level once or twice.  To unlock higher levels, you must play on higher difficulty levels (1 through 3 must be played on Difficult to unlock 4, 1 through 4 must be played on legendary to unlock 5 and so on.)

In Jamestown, there are 4 ships to choose from: Beam, Gunner, Charge, and Bomber each with their own special abilities.  To unlock Gunner, Charge, and Bomber, you must buy them from the small in-game shop with coins for completing levels (even if you don’t complete the level, you get coins for your overall progress in that level).  Other items include harder difficulties and challenge packs for bonus levels.

Gameplay itself is extremely bullet hellish.  In some of the later levels, I feel safe to say it’s on the level of Touhou in terms of crap flying around the screen and things exploding.  The storyline itself isn’t very interesting, and from what I gathered while skimming the words, you want to become honored by the king and you have to defeat this Spanish guy.  The level design however is fantastic with new enemies each level with new abilities of their own.  Each level also has a best suited ship for it (For instance I found using Gunner on world 3, and Charge on Round 4 made them easier.)  The only real gripe I found with the game play is moving.  Your ship moves slow, and sometimes it is very hard to dodge everything coming at you.  Luckily the games supplies you with 3 lives and 2 continues (which will be used up).

Jamestown can easily be mistaken as a short game at first, but as I said, it makes you replay levels to unlock higher levels.  One untested feature is the 2 to 4 player co-op mode.  Extra mice and/or keyboards can be hooked up to the same computer in order to play.  Judging by the trailer, this looks like a fun mode if you have some friends and an extra mouse or two.

Jamestown is a good game.  I’d say if you really love bullet hell games and have been looking for something new, then it is worth the $9.99.  Otherwise I’d wait until it goes on sale on Steam.

Solace Review and Introduction

Alright, for anyone who doesn’t want to read my boring first introduction post, you may skip this paragraph.

So, my name is Dan (Sai077) and I am 17 and have been a gamer for almost 12 years now.  I’m here because I want to give people honest reviews about games.  No bullcrap sponsored reviews like IGN, just the average teenage gamer review.  I play a lot of main stream games because I own every console and every handheld available right now; however, I plan on doing mostly Indie game reviews because deep down I love indie and independent developers more than any big company.  I’m hoping to get a few posts up a week, but I’m starting a landscape job tomorrow which will take up some of my gaming time.  A small game called Solace will be what I’m reviewing first here, and next in line is the 1942-style shooter Jamestown.  I always buy all of my games legally, and you can check out a fairly large list over at my steam profile: http://steamcommunity.com/id/Sai0/games?tab=all (currently 447 games available to choose from).  If you want to request a game, just leave a comment and I’ll get right on it.  I hope you like my reviews, and I’m glad to be a new part of this community!

Anyways…

Solace (Free download at: http://solacegame.com/):

Gameplay trailer:

If you watched the video, you get a sense for what Solace is about.  If you didn’t because you’re lazy, Solace is a bulllethell shooter which takes you through the 5 stages of grief (Denial/Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.)  In Solace, you don’t really get bullet upgrades, and you don’t ever die (at least I didn’t in playing three times).  The game is simply a 15 to 20 minute musical and visual journey through grief.

The stages themselves change depending on the stage of grief of course, with stages like Depression (at 1:00 in the trailer) being calm and bleak, and stages like anger being dark and red with a metal genre sounding musical background.  Its hard do describe exactly what you feel when playing this, but whether you are going through grief or just wanting a short game to play, the ending is fantastic.  It’s simply just a work of art, and is definetly worth a play if you have a little extra time.

This game was one of the PAX 10 Winners, the IGF 2011 winner for the student showcase, an Indie Game Challenge finalist, and has received the following awards in the Digipen 2010 game awards: Claude Comair Grand Prize, Best Music, Most Innovative Design, Best 2D Visual Design, Best Sophomore Game, Most Poetic Experience.

So why not give it a try?  If you love bullethell games, or simply want a different gaming experience, I recommend playing this game with the TV off, and just a pair of headphones.

Next up: Jamestown…