Jamestown, released back in 2011, falls under the “shmup” (Shoot em’ Up) category. It is a top-down shooter hearkening to the days of Galaxians set in a “17th century” British colonial Mars. This is one of the first games that Sam and I played cooperatively.
Most games in this category are incredibly difficult for adults which makes them completely unapproachable for kids. Jamestown is different in the way it approaches cooperation. The easier difficulties are generous with power-ups that “revive” fallen players. The fallen player will also automatically revive after a short amount of time provided at least one player is alive. If you are good at this kind of game, kids can still contribute and make it through the entire level. It also helps that the hit-box is minuscule to the point that your “ship” can “touch” the projectile without dying.
The boss battles didn’t seem to faze Sam in terms of their demeanor. None of the fights had any puzzling aspects to them, however they did have recognizable patterns. Often, I would get “warned” about an upcoming attack by Sam based on his precognition from past sessions.
The OST is also incredible with several swells of the music coinciding with events on screen that really adds to the experience.
There are some downsides. The difficulty does ramp up to a point where it is pretty hard to finish, however younger players don’t hinder, they just contribute less. Additionally, after an extended play time, noticeable graphical anomalies start to appear. This may be due to the age of the game and the drivers of my specific hardware, so your milage may vary.
Most skills are engaged and it is a great starter to having your child play with you. Sam and I have enjoyed our playtime with this game, and we revisit it from time to time. Recommended.
- Spacial Awareness: 5⁄5
- Memory Skills: 3⁄5
- Hand-eye Coordination: 4⁄5
- Problem Solving: 1⁄5
- Reading Skills: 2⁄5
- Entertainment: 4⁄5
- Appropriateness: 3⁄5
Reviewed on the PC version through Steam.
See my Steam Stats for Jamestown
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