A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Fighting for survival overshadowed by constant destruction, blasting of enemies.
Positive Role Models
Though you're shooting a lot of ships, creatures, aliens, it's done somewhat for the greater good, some self-serving reasons.
Ease of Play
Simple shooter controls, but spikes in difficulty require skilled play.
Violence & Scariness
Though all you do is shoot aliens, creatures, enemy ships, game has a cartoony look, aerial perspective, which limits impact of damage.
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In story, a prison is described as "hellish."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Jamestown+, an updated version of 2011's Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, is a downloadable top-down, arcade-style third-person shooter. In it, you shoot an endless stream of bullets as you face down an armada of enemies who are just as trigger-happy. Recalling such classic vertical shooters as 1982's Xevious and 1984's 1942, this old-school arcade game lets you move all around the screen but always has you shooting upward as the ground scrolls down. It even has a pixelated, mid-'80s-arcade visual style, which perfectly matches its classic-style gameplay. As a result, it's a rather benign shooter. Parents also should be aware that though this game supports up to four-player co-op, you can only play with someone if she's sitting next to you on the couch.
Is It Any Good?
An expanded and remastered version of 2011's Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony, Jamestown+ is an '80s-style, top-down, arcade-y shooter that will remind older gamers of 1942, Xevious, and even a little of Galaga. Besides boasting pixelated, old-school-style graphics and gameplay, you can gather gold bolts and gears to charge up a limited-time attack weapon, adding to your attack strategy. Plus, when you die (and you will), the continue system lets you pick up where you left off -- if you have any credits left, just like you could when you played these kinds of games at the arcade. It's even as unforgiving as a game that's designed to separate kids from their allowances. As for the "+" part, this version adds new ships, two new levels, spruced-up backgrounds, an all-new menu, as well as music and sound effects that have been remastered and are now available in 5.1 surround sound.
But though Jamestown+ may sound like a fun trip down memory lane, it has some issues. Most notably, the initial action stops after the first three levels if you're playing on "Normal." Unless you raise the challenge to "Difficult" or harder, you can't experience the rest of the game, which hardly seems fair. It also has some odd modern twists that don't really fit this kind of game. Once you've beaten a level, for instance, you can always start off from that point, not from the beginning like you'd have to if your PS4 took quarters. This also has a lush orchestral score that sounds more like something you'd hear in a new game but is rather incongruous here. Jamestown+ is fun, but its odd design decisions keep it from being a great shooter.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.