Free Saturday Shootage: Jets ‘n’ Guns

By Kieron Gillen on June 21st, 2008 at 4:03 pm.

If only we could talk to the alien-space monsters. Now that WOULD be something.

Ah. “‘n'”. It’s had a difficult history as a link between words, poor little “‘n'”, but let’s overlook a serious analysis of grammatical monstrosities in pop culture. There’s other things to deal with – namely, Jets ‘n’ Guns Gold, that you can currently download. For free. And it’s the full thing, As long as you do it quickly. At the time of writing, there’s still sixteen hours left to download it and install it. And for fans of old-skool Amiga Shooters, you’ll find a suitable Saturday blast a-waiting. Opinions and similar follow, via the medium of internet words.

Firstly, if you’re already playing, you actually have to read the screen of text which appears. Or, at least, it’s useful too – I clicked through, and got struck in, and had trouble working out how you were meant to survive with the pea-shooter I was given. But there’s a shop you’re meant to visit to tool up before heading forth. Do that, or fail.

You’ll probably fail anyway, as it’s not exactly that easy.
If only we could re-arrange the aliens into some kind of enormous structure we could play hide and seek in. Now that WOULD be something.
But it’s not easy in a way which really is making me reach back to the days of the Amiga – it feels distinctly like something which Team 17 would have made after Project X, or and the Bitmap’s Xenon influence is highly visible in the shop sequence. However, since you’ve only one life, there’s no risk in losing your implements of shootage.

Other details remind me of two games which I’ve barely thought of for years. Namely Core’s 1942-clone-with-gore Banshee and DMA’s Operation-Wolf-meets-ED-209-gorefest Walker. Both games happily threw in a mass of tiny little Lemmings-esque guys who get reduced to smears of gore by your weaponry in the way which real little guys tend to. In fact, despite the excesses of explosions, realism is the word which keeps on coming to mind. It’s this sort of approach to an abstractly simple game which most reminds me of the Amiga – being the half-way house between consoles and PCs, the Amiga kind of picked up a few things which always sat oddly. Remember Project X’s ship gaining more intertia the more equipment it picked up? That sort of thing, which is as misplaced thinking as people trying to make their slippy-slidey ice-worlds an accurate simulation of what it’d be like to climb a mountain whilst wearing dungarees and a pair of kicking trainers.

I appear to be channeling the ghost of Amiga Power. Forgive me.
If only we could make them re-splosions which make everything go back to exactly how it was, ideally holding a thesaurus. Now that WOULD be something.
The realism – as well as shops-over-pure-pick-ups – is shown in the ability for you to over-heat your guns by firing too much. You’re able to upgrade all the stats on your ship, including your heat-dispersal, meaning that as well as paying for bigger guns, you have to support the infrastructure which… well, christ! If you give a guy a gun, for God’s sake, let him fire it.

Except I’m actually rather fond of Jets ‘n’ Guns. It’s mainly because these ideas, while they would be harmful if they spread too far, are now such an oddity that the resultant game seems really quite fresh. Or, at least, a suitable small retro kick to the days when I pretty much had SWIV tattooed on my trigger fingers. That metaphor makes no sense. Look over there! A distraction!

So: a bit of a giggle. It’s Saturday afternoon. A little ultraviolence would do you good. Get it from here, before the timer runs out.

Thanks to Joachim Froholt for pointing us at this.

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15 Comments »

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  1. cliffski says:

    That was really enormous fun. Cheers. Nice game

  2. Crash says:

    Not even a word about music made by Swedish band Machinae Supremacy? I’m disappointed.

  3. ZeeKat says:

    Swiv, Project X (seriously ship gained momentum because of upgrades? I though that was all the speed bonuses you were getting throghout game), Xenon and Walker all mentioned within one review. Well that’s more than enough to get me downloading in a split second.

  4. Mr. Mechanical says:

    I got in on this the last time it was the game giveaway of the day website and, yeah, it’s an awesomely tough little cookie. Great fun even though I still can’t get past the third stage. Also makes me wish I was around for the Amiga shooters of yesteryear. Maybe I could look into emulation one of these days.

  5. Sunjumper says:

    I have had this game for quite a while and loved it to bits.

    Mostly.

    The music is great, thanks to Machinae Supremacy, I like the sense of humour it has, there is a stage that has the player blasting the Enemy to shreds during a life concert of Machinae Supremacy that made me smile.

    And things explode in the most beautiful ways.

    The only thing that stopped me from finishing the games was that the player’s ship weapons fire in al colour of the rainbow exactly as the enemies weapons and the ubiquitous explosions. While this has all the aesthetic appeal of a hyperactive new year’s eve, it makes dodging enemy attacks incredibly difficult.

  6. Pod says:

    I own this. It was great fun, if not a bit easy the first time through because of a bug that made a very deadly gun really cheap. Still, good game, terrible ending. (AND NOW DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!…..great)

    In the same way that I earn for a remake of Syndicate, I want something simliar to Walker, only 3d. And not rubbish.

  7. eyemessiah says:

    Pah can’t seem to get on to the site to download it!

    Curses!

  8. Nimic says:

    I can’t seem to get past the second level (having tried maybe three or four times). I eventually reach this mega-ultimate supergun of doom. And die.

  9. LSTAR says:

    This game makes me want to tear my arms off and feed them to a cat.

    And yet, I kinda like it.

  10. runningwthszzors says:

    The game is great fun. One nice thing about the game is that its very forgiving with the money. Whatever you buy you can sell at full price. The music is excellent also.

  11. Ryan says:

    Christ, this game is unforgiving. I had it on the easiest difficulty setting, and I had played the hell out of the demo a few months ago, so I was sort of prepared going in- but still I can’t get past the damn “Beer Cube” level. On a lark, I cheated to give myself 999,999,999,999 space-euros or whatever the currency is and tricked out my ZZ Top spacemobile with the finest everything money could buy, and it’s still challenging. Wow. I mean, I know I suck at shmups, but I also know I don’t suck that badly.

  12. Stromko says:

    Bah. The download was so achingly slow I couldn’t get it done before I had to leave the house, and by time I got back the ‘day’ was over and couldn’t install. That’s how they screw us. :)

  13. Alarik says:

    Good game, but a bit too easy (basically if you finished the game once, you are all set and another flight-throughs are easy).

    Still Hexagun is awesome wepon (and idea).

  14. subedii says:

    Bought it a couple of months ago. Aside from Xenon 2, the game it most reminded me of was Tyrian (classic Epic Megagames top-down scrolling shooter).

    It’s a really awesome shooter, I love the quirky sense of humour. Other games of this genre try to take themselves seriously, instead JnG realises how ridiculous it is and runs with that for some funny and weird level ideas.

    The difficulty and the general setup of the game had me tweaking and changing my ship setup with every level. Actually gave the gameplay a surprising amount of depth just by that. The fact that you don’t lose money on re-selling anything really helps to encourage experimentation with different configurations.

    Oh, and the music is a pretty good fit for the game too.

  15. sigma83 says:

    INTENSELY AWESOME. Great way to burn off aggression built up by doing assignments. I <3 massive guns of death