Jamestown: Legend Of The Lost Colony Review

key review info
application features
  • Jamestown is a neo-classical top-down shooter for up to four players set on 17th-century British Colonial Mars.
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Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is a top down shooter game developed by Final Form Games which tries to emulate older games, from 20 years ago. In an era when all the games are about glamor and nice graphics, Jamestown is all about gameplay and fun.

The arcade games were practically a second home in my youth and shooters like 1943 and Metal Slug kept me awake all night, trying to figure out new strategies to get past difficult levels and bosses. It's not hard to imagine the impact these games have on kids, but I find it hard to believe that such games will evoke the same feeling and thoughts in today's youths.

Jamestown is a game made for old people. When I say old, I mean in their thirties and forties, which for teenagers is practically equivalent to retirement. It's a game that feels out of place for most people, but which resonates with older players perfectly.


The developers from Final Form Games provides a single .zip file which contains a .bin installer that should work on most, if not all, Linux distributions.

Jamestown has some special dependencies, such as OpenAL. If it fails to start, just run it from the terminal window and see what it requires.


Final Form Games went through a lot of trouble in building up a story for the game. Although it will not get the players too involved and nobody really cares about the main character, it's nice to see the effort that was put into it.

The story of the game takes place in an alternative universe, one where perhaps the dark ages hasn't happened. Our hero escapes execution at the hand of the king of Great Britain (most likely) and flees to the New World (Mars), hoping to earn his redemption by fighting against an invading army, which is composed of Martians and Spanish conquistadors.

The games start at the Eastern frontier and continues to west, battling harder and harder opponents. Eventually you will need to play side-by-side with a friend to get past the most difficult levels.


Jamestown is developed in a 16-bit flavor which means it looks a certain way you may not be accustomed with. No matter how much you fiddle with the graphical options, you can't really smooth out those pixels. Users will be able to choose from a series of options to make the game fit the screen.

The first graphical option to choose from is Pixel Perfect. With this setting active the game is compressed to it's original size which seems to be 1280x1024. If you have a wide screen monitor, two black bars will appear right and left, and two up and down, but everything will be much smoother.

The second one is Proportional Stretch. With this mode active the image is stretched a little bit more, but there are still two black bards on the edges of the screen.

The third and last option is called Crazy Stretch. With this setting active the image fills the screen, on whatever resolution you're on. We've played it on 1920x1080 and it looked more than ok.

After all the options are settled, players will go through a short tutorial, which is recommended. There is a skip option, but users shouldn't use it.

Players can choose from four ships, although at the beginning, only one is available. Every ship has a main weapon, which is weaker, and a second one, which is somewhat powerful, but it hinders the movement of the ship.

Enemies leave behind gold and the player has to gather it in order to fill the vaunt meter and to buy new ships and upgrades from the shop. The vaunt ability, once triggered, increases the damage done with the weapons and adds a score multiplier.

Jamestown is a difficult game. In order to progress from chapter to chapter, players have to finish the levels in the respective chapter on all the difficulty settings. Needless to say, the Judgment mode earns its name.

The game also as local co-op, up to four players, which can play in a variety of ways. Users can add more mice, keyboards, gamepads or joysticks.

The Bad

There is only one problem with Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony and that is the control scheme. For some unknown reason, indie developers can't seem to get this aspect right.

In this case, Final Form Games chose to implement a lag between the action of the player, albeit on keyboard or with a mouse, and the movement of the ship. I guess it's supposed to give the impression of mass to the ship, but it makes the gameplay cumbersome and it's the main reason I died, a lot.

It's not right to artificially make the game more difficult by messing with the controls. There are number of other ways to do this, which are less obtrusive.

The Good

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony has a particular visual style that makes it stand out. Maybe it's the 16-bit graphics or the hectic action on the screen, but it has a strong personality.

Also, the music is outstanding for an indie game. It fits perfectly in battles and in menus, and the sound effects are convincing.


Its nice to know that there are people out there that still believe we need games like this one. Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is a lot of fun and it gets way better if you play it with friends. If it weren't for the weird controls, this would have made a much better impression.
user interface 4
features 5
ease of use 2
pricing / value 4

final rating 3
Editor's review
NEXT REVIEW: Shank for Linux

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