User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 121 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 121
  2. Negative: 11 out of 121

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  1. Aug 17, 2011
    It seems to me while a lot of people here enjoy the game, they still often lack the insight of having played shmups for years. Because as somebody who has played dozens of them extensively, I can tell you that Jamestown is not only great but a damn steal!
    In harsh contrast to almost any shmup out there, Jamestown offers numerous bonus features at a price that is also well below almost any
    shmup out there.
    So lacking online multiplayer or not, considering the huge amount of content (while also not looking amateurish) one gets for that ridiculous price, it deserves no less than a perfect rating!
    And for uneducated gamers who complain about it only having a couple of levels: take a look at games like DoDonPachi Dai Ou Jou that were released as full price games for consoles or newer arcade PCBs that cost multiple hundreds of dollars!! If you're not into the genre in general and don't see a point in score hunting on the same couple of levels over and over again, that's fine - but don't act like this is expensive when nothing could be farther from the truth.
  2. Jul 25, 2011
    It's pretty fun while it lasts, but it's REALLY short and unless you're good enough to unlock all the levels you'll get stuck without even being able to finish the (already really short) campaign. The scaling difficulty requirement to unlock the rest of the campaign was a mistake IMO.
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    What a waist of $10, you get a little more then 5 levels and 4 players types where 3 out of the 4 completely suck. the controls suck, the graphics are... well its pixelated. the story is complete gibberish.
  4. Dec 26, 2011
    This game is so rad, the alien/spanish alliance vs 1600s settlers with muskets and airships?! I think the king of mormon is somewhere in there too, crazy 1942-style arcade vertical scroller with unique style. Pass me the Salvia, Final Form Games! Gotta get on your level.
  5. Dec 19, 2011
    Jamestown is a fairly fun retro-shooter that keeps you interested for the one or two hours it takes to finish, in no small part due to its very intriguing story cut scenes and incredibly amazing music. Sadly, the game is just way too short with not much replay value. Once you beat the game, there are some challenge levels and modes, but honestly these become very frustrating more than challenging. Warning: the mouse is horrible for this game; only use a gamepad! Regardless, for a couple bucks Jamestown is a good experience. You'll remember your time with it, half because of the crazy setting (that totally works!) and half because of the crazy frustration at the mandatory higher difficulty levels. Did I mention the music is phenomenal? The world-class soundtrack alone makes the game worth buying. Overall a solid 7.5. Expand
  6. Feb 9, 2012
    Damn, first of all I have to say that the sound track for this game is amazing, personally a little costly, but probably worth it. The story line is vivid and unique and the gameplay is very nostalgic as I used to play many games like this on the Sega back in the day. The good thing is, it manages to maintain some degree of overall difficulty that I grew up on when I was a kid. Certainly an interesting title to pick up, especially if you were a fan of the side-scrolling action plane shooters back in the day. Expand
  7. Jan 31, 2012
    Fantastic musical score, extremely satisfying gameplay. The pixel art is also very good. I love this game, and so do my siblings who play it with me on my computer. I love that it supports single-computer play, but I wish they'd add LAN support as well. Charming game.
  8. Oct 3, 2011
    So called "shmups" were never my kind of entertainment. I heard good things about this game, but still i never liked bullet-hell shooters. So even when on sale, I kinda pushed myself to buy it. Mostly from curiosity. I was sure that it cant be so good, it's just hype. I was wrong. It is DAMN good. Jamestown is made perfectly. Visuals, music, story... Marvelous. You've got 4 ships to choose from. Every one requires different strategy, it's fun to master them and pick your favorite. Gameplay? Specially for less experienced players - it constantly pushes you to play higher difficulty levels. It's necessary if You want to unlock all the chapters. At first you can't beat a level on "Normal", after an hour you're making a perfect run on "Difficult". After a couple of hours it's time for "Legendary" and "Divine". I've got to say, I love the idea of such a "shmup school". It really makes you master the game perfectly. There's only 5 levels, but you need to re-play most of them on higher difficulties if you want to clear the game. That's not all - what about 20 challenges? Unlockable Judgement difficulty level? Unlockable Hardcore Mode? Gauntlet Mode? Lot's of fun! Hours of gameplay! Jamestown is my game of the year. Really, screw up all the high-budget productions. All you need is talented indie developers... Such as these responsible for Jamestown. Hail to them! Expand
  9. Jul 10, 2011
    Perfectly pitched, beautifully realised and marvellously silly. Best scrolling shooter I've ever played. Special mention goes to the music. Don't expect a great deal of gaming time here -- the main game isn't very long and my reaction to the challenges was either "yay done it" or "I can't do that one" -- but the time you'll spend will be time well spent!
  10. Aug 24, 2011
    While it may not appeal to those who're unfamiliar with the bullet hell genre; Jamestown provides a beautiful, colorful, lush 2D top-down shoot em' up, a stunning soundtrack and a hilarious alternative take on the war between the 17th century English and Spanish. My only gripe is that it ended so quickly.
  11. Sep 13, 2011
    When I first noticed Jamestown I assumed it was developed by Cave or Treasure. Two of the best "Bullet Hell" scrolling shooter developers ever. This isn't the case however. Here we have a pixel perfect shoot em up not created in japan. This game offers four play co-op, blistering difficulty and challenge modes. Four ship types that all bring a unique spin to the game play. You will sink hours trying to perfect each ships play style through multiple difficulties. Great graphics, amazing sound tight game play with controller, keyboard or mouse. Buy this if you love bullet hell shooters! Now! Expand
  12. Jan 18, 2013
    A great old school style shoot-em-up from developers who clearly understand what it is that makes the genre great. A very cool art style along with incredible music give us the setting for five stages of breakneck, intense action. The boss battles are as epic as you would hope for in a great shoot-em-up. On top of the five stages (with five difficulty levels), there are many bonus 'challenge levels' which test your skills in various ways. The difficulty of the game is dialed up throughout, but it's done impressively; it never seems unfair. Some have put this game into the 'bullet hell' sub-genre, but I don't agree with that designation at all. Jamesotwn is just a good, honest, difficult, shoot-em-up! Expand
  13. Dec 31, 2011
    First to address the three most common complaints in other reviews: "The game is too short." There are many bonus levels that become unlocked after a little bit of play. "The story makes no sense." The story is highly ironic and incredibly funny. "There's only one good ship among the 4 choices." Well, one ship in particular is responsible for most high scores, but it's also the hardest to use. If, like me, you have an alternative (bad) play style, then other ships may be better suited for you.

    On to the review. This game feels great to play. The controls are tight, the visuals are well done, and the pacing is excellent. I was never a big shoot-em-up gamer, but I can never resist the opportunity to get a cheap, independent game soaked with a thick liquor of irony. This is a game that will make you smile, even as you explode, again.
  14. Mar 2, 2012
    The game is not short. I have spent HOURS trying to pass the game on divine. Its difficulty is there and its even more fun when you have 4 people playing. The difficulty scales with more people. I only passed it on divine the other day and now trying to do it on judgement. It took me about 3 hours to pass the FIRST stage on judgement. If you think you can do it, try it. To get judgement, you have to pass all the stages on divine first. Expand
  15. Dec 31, 2012
    One of the best top-down shooters ever made in my opinion. It has good graphics, controls and maps. You can choose between 4 different spaceships, and they are all great (no overpowered ones). It's awesome to play with friends too, using different ships for having a good tactic.
  16. Nov 2, 2012
    This game is amazing. The soundtrack is great, the game play has little to no bugs, and the graphics are classic. I have only two problems with this game. 1. The story is too short, and there is not enough content in the game.
    2. The game is ridiculously easy for a shoot 'em up, unless you go on judgement difficulty, which is way too difficult. This could just be because I'm a massive fan
    of this genre, so I'm used to playing ones based for more hardcore players. Expand
  17. Dec 26, 2012
    Before I had purchased this game, I did not know I loved shoot-em-ups. The price is great, the gameplay is creative, and the music makes the game feel epic. The difficulty does scale as your near the end of the levels, but if you're anything like me and my friends, you won't be able to put the controller down until you've finished. My only criticisms are that once you are able to beat the game, replays feel quite short. Also, the expansion does not add any additional levels to the game. Otherwise, this game is beautiful and I wish I had paid more than I did. Expand
  18. Jan 13, 2013
    It's a game that brings the old school high-score smashing feeling, trying for hours to get your friend off the top of the leaderboard. It is well made, graphics are just what you would expect from an old school shmup like this one. Only faults I had with it is the lack of content, you can count the levels with the fingers of your left hand and it having huge FPS drops sometimes despite the old graphics. Expand
  19. Aug 14, 2013
    The game, for all of these kids calling it short/expensive/hard, is actually a flawlessly paced top-down bullet hell. Since many of the people writing a review for this game have evidently never played a bullet hell before, they are known for being both hard and, compared to other types of games, short. Now that we're passed the introduction to the genre, here's what sets Jamestown apart: a whole slew of challenge levels, a unique style of combos (vaunt), and above all else, the sheer LACK of pointless BS. Really, though, the challenge levels introduce you to various aspects of the point system in a controlled setting (a point system that you don't even care about if you don't like Bullet hellz), the vaunt system makes for incredibly engaging multiplayer if you and your friends learn to protect each other, and there isn't a single out of place narrator trying to shove complicated mechanics down your gullet. I rate very few games as highly as I rate Jamestown, but if you like Tohou or Exceed, you really have to pick this game up. Expand
  20. Jul 18, 2011
    Good to hark back to scrolling shooters, but i can't shake the feeling that Tyrian is a cleaner, deeper experience (and free on GOG). I like my customisation options :)
  21. Jul 16, 2011

    Fast and furious. It does an excellent tribute to retro top down shooters while being it's own game. It may seem on the surface to be a very simply put together game, but it's very nuanced. Killing things a certain way or in a certain order grant bonuses and make it possible to exponentially increase your score. The Bonuses feature of the game illustrates this incredibly

    Speaking of features, this game gives you as much variety as it can in how to play it. First, there's 5 difficulty levels. Next, there's 5 separate levels of the game to conquer. You can opt to play the game gauntlet style, where as you finish levels you just keep flying right into the next one; or you can play it chapter by chapter. You earn points and money to buy new guns, ships, and even to unlock new gameplay.


    This game proves, like so many other indie titles, that flashy graphics aren't important. The art style of the game, while very 32-bit in nature, is compelling nonetheless. However, if you have poor vision, it might be tricky at first discerning interactive foreground from the background (the color scheme for some stages makes this non-obvious at first, but once you get through the levels you'll learn).


    Excellent casual and competitive game! This will be one indie title players buy this year that are worth it's weight in gold. Gameplay is fun and simple, yet has competitive depth. There's no losers when you buy this game. It's definitely a must-own.
  22. Jul 6, 2011
    As a fan of vertical shooters like Ikaruga, Tyrian, and the Touhou series Jamestown is a delightful and beautiful entry in the genre. The difficulty is set below Touhou's brutality, but the hardest difficulties will still challenge the experienced vertical shooter enthusiast. You, and up to 3 other friends, can all play on screen as any of 4 different ships with their own special abilities through 5 story levels and numerous challenge levels.

    The atmosphere of Jamestown is superb and the only thing holding it back is its lack of ONLINE multiplayer. Unfortunately, it only supports local multiplayer, meaning you need to have some gamepads and other input devices if you want to play with all your friends.

    Don't let this stop you from enjoying this worthwhile arcade shooter throwback.
  23. Sep 24, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Single-screen co-op with as many gamepads as you can find USB ports for, well to a maximum of 4. 4 different varieties of ship each with a different primary and secondary fire, amusing storyline and delightfully kitsch steam-punk setting.

    If you are buying this game you must know that you are not buying the next Deus Ex Human Revolution, or Dragon Age, but instead a very competent top down scrolling shooter, with an eccentric and quirky setting and highly enjoyable game mechanics. The price tag of $10 USD on Steam is well worth the many hours of co-op fun with friends that you will have.

    The only complaint I can make is that to progress further into the game you must play the game at harder and harder difficulty settings. This makes the game challenging and sometimes frustrating to the point where some levels feel like they simply cannot be beaten without a co-op partner, or two. See while all players share the same continue pool, so long as one player stays alive until the others revive from the dead, no continue is used. At very late stages in the game this mechanic is vital to the successful completion of missions with partners.

    The other complaint is that the final level contains such an abundance of instant death walls and traps it feels like poor level design.
  24. Jul 12, 2011
    Not for the faint of heart or slow of thumb, Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is a fantastic retro top down shooter that gets just about everything right. Starting off in your standard Beam ship, you blast through stages while learning about the new Martian Jamestown. The â
  25. Aug 26, 2011
    A Good , but not great game. I got it on sale for 5 bucks so I'm not too disappointed. The game play is solid, the level are fun, colorful and hectic, the story has a sort of bizarre charm to it, but there are a couple of key components that really turn me off. The game requires you replay missions on higher difficulties just to unlock missions 4 and 5 (which are the last two levels). And even though I made it to the end, the last mission is so difficult, it isn't very fun. That would be completely forgivable if the store feature was actually worth the trouble. Basically you earn money that is used to pay for things like extra ships and bonus challenges. A great idea in concept, but the last two ships you unlock are pure crap! I don't mind the short length of the game and I actually enjoyed the challenge (the final mission excluded) so it makes me want to hit my fist against my desk when a game with so much potential falls short. With a few minor fixes this game is a 9/10. None the less, the ship I did use was great fun and the levels are hard core, so if you don't think the above mentioned negatives will bother you, buy this game. Expand
  26. Nov 6, 2013
    Pretty hard even on Normal. Fun to play with someone. As a single-player tough and monotonous. Complete Mouse control (unable to use mouse-keyboard combination) takes away from the enjoyment of the game.
  27. Feb 27, 2012
    While the artwork and game setting are very well thought out and portrayed, the longevity of Jamestown is its downfall. There are five campaign levels that must be beaten in Legendary difficulty in order for the player to advance. This difficulty level is appropriate for the first four levels, but on the fifth and final level, this design choice becomes a problem and a hindrance. The last level is so difficult, I consider it to be poorly designed and most importantly, inadequate. It is as if the designers realized they did not have much of a game in their hands, and decided to make the final fifth level nearly unbeatable, in order to excuse the amount of time necessary to complete the campaign. Sure, there are bonus modes/levels to be unlocked, but they are merely side distractions, that do not provide the player with additional entertainment or value. Jamestown is simply too short, in addition to one of its five levels being extremely poor. To add to this insult, the developers have released an expensive DLC for an already overpriced base game, that adds very little. The limited amount of continues is also another bad design choice because of the terrible last level. In the end, the player is left with a clear understanding that the developers resorted to a cheap and unimaginative means of prolonging Jamestown's lifespan by making it artificially and unusually difficult in the last level. Through this, it is very quick to realize that this game does not involve much, and the developers should be ashamed of themselves for charging so much for so little content. There are innumerable amounts of games of this same genre that are incomparably better, and most are more than 20 years older. Jamestown is a prime example of independent developers taking advantage of the scene and overcharging consumers for content that is extremely scarce, poorly implemented, and quite limited. There is very little to do, very little to experience, and very little to enjoy. Jamestown can be beaten in less than one hour, and there are many other games that have a much better value than this. What a waste. Expand
  28. Sep 28, 2012
    Jamestown is solid bullet hell shooter. It includes 4 different unlockable ships, each with its own play style, 5 different difficulty levels, and a decent number of different levels. The soundtrack is excellent, and works really well with the game. I thought the alternative history story line was really fun, even if it is a bit short. I didn't get to try the local co-op, but it seems like it would be a blast. Expand
  29. Dec 22, 2011
    This game is one truely badass game, not gona lie, but the reason I give it a 7 is because it isn't as long/big of a game as I had hoped. It would've been nice to have more level's to play in. This is an amazing game though, and I would still recommend it, just if you get it... try to get it VIA the Humble Indie Bundle that way you get 12 games instead of 1 so so sized game for $5-$10. Expand
  30. Sep 25, 2012
    I love this game. I'm from the 16 bits generation and this game makes me revive the good times. You have 5 stages that you must play again and again if you want to master it. There are challenge stages too that you must unlock with money you earn every time you beat one of the 5 initial stages. You have 4 ships to choose, but only 2 are worth. I'm playing for 30 hours and I'm still playing. The cons are that it's no online, only local multiplayer, up to four players, and the story is not interesing (I didn't see any of the story videos). But the game is very good and I totally recommend it. Expand
  31. May 30, 2012
    You'll start playing, and complete the entire game in less than 2 hours. It'll be a great 2 hours. But 2 hours.. really? Extremely short game. The gameplay is good and well done, for this genre it's one of the best, if the game was 4x longer it could have been epic. Right now, only an idiot would buy this, it should be freeware or something.
  32. Oct 11, 2012
    With no idea of what Jamestown was prior to playing it I was thrilled to find the gameplay similar to a game I played long ago but have since forgotten the name of. The story seemed like a tacky add on but I thought it was a nice level transition and gave the game a purpose. I was happy with it up until it started requiring that I beat all the prior levels on a harder difficulty in order to move on. Having kept a decent pace and feeling pleased with having beat the previous levels I was annoyed that I would have to replay them on a more difficult setting. I felt it was something that should have been initially clear so that I was repeating levels unnecessarily. After trying levels repeatedly due to a stupid error on my part it became clear to me why games like this no longer exist. They are exciting to an extent but get redundant quickly. Sure there are new environments but as the foes are principally the same I felt there was really no variety. I enjoyed the game but the difficulty locking seemed a lackluster way to implement more difficult bosses. Now that I've beat it I probably will not play it again. Expand
  33. Jan 3, 2013
    Steampunk Shmup on Mars based around the American colonies. Multiple endings, plenty of ships that will fit any playstyle, up to 4 player multiplayer, and over 20 levels round out a solid single or multiplayer experience. Initially might be too easy for Shmup vets but there are multiple difficulty levels to ease new players in. Overall it's above average for the genre but I still only clocked about 4 hours on it. A good entry point for new players but vets might be better skipping it. Expand
  34. Nov 15, 2012
    I'll tell you: I loved this game. I have something like 8 hours (actually) played on Steam on this game.
    I loved the soundtrack and the art style and the story is ok.
    Anyway, I was new to this type of game when I bought it and easier difficulties were very forgiving for a new player like me. Today I haven't completed any level with Judgment Difficulty yet, but I enjoyed every single
    level in every single difficulty.
    I would give this game 9 for what I've just said, but not. There are too many things that are not worth 7,99 euros for the standard version and 2,99 euros for the DLC.
  35. Dec 11, 2013
    Pure awesomeness! Hats off before these Final Form guys. They mixed steampunk sci-fi theme, retro graphics and game-play that moved me in the time to titles such as Raptor and Tyrian. And everything is compounded by two. Looking forward for their next title.
  36. Feb 27, 2014
    I bought jamestown for some nostalgic reasons although i didn't like downscrolling shooters much in the 90's.

    but the game jamestown is a killer in it's genre. absolutely cool soundtrack. nice graphics in a cool setting (1619 and youre fighting marsians...thats cool!). totally challenging gameplay in a fair way. also the kinda short story is very nice and alternate mode is there to be

    there are to few levels maybe, but challenges and gauntlet mode plus the obligatory achievements will keep one playing a lot of hours.

    lack of online coop sucks a lot, but would maybe be frustrating due to lags.
    when having enough space around your pc the cooperative mode is extremely cool and the social aspect of gaming with your nerdy friends in one room is great.

    all in all its one great game, especially for the price. and the hard diffilcultys will make you shout angry words towards the monitor
  37. Mar 8, 2014
    Despite the seemingly short gameplay, Jamestown makes up for its replayability, through varying difficulties that help even the newbies to the genre to slowly get up to speed.

    What people don't realise is probably the amount of work that this small team has put into its challenge modes and the absolutely amazing choreography of the enemy ships, and uniquely painted terrain of each
    level. The music was also nothing short of fantastic and fitting for the game.

    The controls feels just right, and the visual response (when bullets hit an ally or enemy) are spot-on, if you were to compare this game to most shooters out there, there's sometimes the lack of "oomph" in this area. Clearly the creators put a lot of thought and tested a lot of things to get the details right.

    Lastly, the game mechanics are simple yet fun. A casual danmaku fan like myself had no difficulty or complaints with it, and heck I introduced this game to all my colleagues (who have rarely or never played shmups before) and all of them loved it. For what it's worth, you won't be disappointed with this game, if you're looking for hours of fun.
  38. Aug 30, 2014
    I played Ikaruga, R-Type, Gradius, etc... but "Jamestown" is for me the best shoot'em up of all. Not only because it's a lot of fun with pretty 2D pixel art graphics, it's also the well balance difficulty that give a great replay value. The others popular Shmups are usually insanely-killthefunofit-hard. Jamestown is just right.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Nov 7, 2011
    Jamestown is an old school hardcore arcade shooter. By its visual approach, its music and its gaming philosophy, it creates an imaginary comeback of the golden age of video arcade games. Its background set in the 17th steampunked century is only strengthening the overall enjoyment drawing young gamers on a peep show at those olden times of video gaming.
  2. 80
    An example of perfect indie shoot'em up – Jamestown brings a combination of excellent stylish visuals and splendid playability. Only pity is that the game lacks an online multiplay option. [Issue#207]
  3. Aug 11, 2011
    Jamestown harkens back to an era when we played games just to get a high score--when beating a game this challenging actually earned you bragging rights. [Oct 2011, p.77]