Spotlight On Biscuit – Jamestown

If this is bullet hell, is there a bullet heaven?

I was cheering excitedly about beautiful indie shmup Jamestown last week, and the title’s tagline of “Mars is waiting! Bring your friends!” must be the finest piece of video game marketing of the last ten years.

But a philosopher once said that a video speaks a thousand words, so here’s games commenter Total Biscuit talking you through the game in an even more agitable manner than usual. I’m serious- if you watch up to him reaching the first boss you will hear the actual sound of a man having a nervous breakdown.

On the subject of biscuits, this weekend I had a bit of a biscuit epiphany. It is as follows:

Expensive biscuits- you know, those posh biscuits that almost certainly have caligraphy on the box/bag. They’re crap, aren’t they? I mean, what are you paying for? Some friends of ours brought over a bag of fancy biscuits in a mad panic over the weekend and they were just so underwhelming. You show me a man who says they’ve discovered a posh biscuit to rival the chocolate hobnob, and I’ll show you a liar. A greedy liar who talks about biscuits all the time. And what kind of a man is that? Go away, greedy liar.


  1. CMaster says:

    About the only good posh biscuits I’ve come across are:
    Those ones that are chocolate really – a big slab of (preferably dark) chocolate with a butter biscuit embedded in them
    Some “local” produced, fairly expensive ones in relativley unassuming packaging. They do normal biscuit types, just a nicer. There Dark Chocolate gingers were amazing.

    • westyfield says:

      You mean a Leibniz Keks, or those round ones that Fox’s do that are completely coated in chocolate?
      Either way, they’re gooooooood.

    • CMaster says:

      Indeed, Leibniz Kets and the various knockoffs there of. Although they’re really as much of a chocolate as they are a biscuit (see things like Ritter Sport Biscuit, which is sold as a choclate but is much the same).

    • McDan says:

      Ah Leibniz biscuits, they are the best hybrid.

  2. Skusey says:

    Posh boxes of biscuits sometimes come with those sweet wafery things shaped like a straw, and they are good because I can pretend that I’m smoking with them, and remember being a care-free youth that thought smoking was exciting. Also, you can use two of them to make a walrus face. And of course, you can use them as straws. Though my favourite biscuits are just good old plain chocolate digestives.

  3. karry says:

    [Last warning, Karry]

  4. magnus says:

    But I like that of biscuit, just at Christmas though!

  5. Pobblepop says:

    Chocolate Hobnobs? I’m sorry but I couldn’t disagree more. They are so 1990’s, like when crisps first got more flavours other than salt and vinegar and cheese and onion. They are a relic from a bygone era of biscuits when we didn’t know any better. The ultimate biscuit now is the Coop triple-chunk Belgium chocolate biscuit, they come in fours in a bag and cost about £1.50. Cup of coffee and one of these and you’re good to go. Hobnobs…. pfft.

    • Calabi says:

      It looks good, but I dont like the coin op mechanics. Continues, lives and stuff. Theres no real reason for them to be in a game that I buy.

      Sorry replied to wrong post.

  6. somnolentsurfer says:

    Isn’t pretty close to Valve’s “It’s the Zombie Apocolypse. Bring friends”?

  7. Jumwa says:

    That was stressful just to watch.

  8. orta says:

    want, but no mac port :(

  9. Ondrej says:

    I love how a tiny mention about cookies turns the whole discussion (and OP) into total oblivion against the main topic.

  10. bill says:

    Amen Brother! On the posh biscuits front!

    Which is to say, the posh biscuits may well be better, but they just aren’t the same. Take it from someone stuck overseas where the only biscuits are either Japanese ones or high class high price imported ones like Duchy Originals.

    They’re fine, but they’re not a custard cream. the chocolate biscuits here might have 50% chocolate in them, but they aren’t a bourbon cream. The japanese biscuits might be individually wrapped in an attempt to drown the world in packaging, but they aren’t a ginger nut.

    Never yet found a biscuit in an expensive import store that I wouldn’t trade for a Tesco’s custard cream.

    (PS/ Their donuts are the same – fillings, icings, toppings, designs – but I’d trade them all for a single jam donut. sigh. )

  11. Jharakn says:

    If you’ll forgive me for going back to the game for a moment I really recommend people get this, its a solid nugget of fun for only 7 quid. I was also very impressed with the control system as it can pick up multiple keyboards and mice plugged into a single computer, I completed it with 3 friends crowded round my desk using a variaty of salvaged computer periferals from the flat (a keyboard 2 mice and an xbox controller) and it was a riot, great fun.

    The soundtrack is also simply outstanding, i find myself staring at the main menu screen just listening to the main theme. Outstanding little indy gem from final flight here.

    • shoptroll says:

      Played it on the TV this weekend with my girlfriend. Neither of us are great at schmups, let alone bullet hell types, but it was a grand time. Unfortunately we got stuck on the second level on the normal (I think it’s called “Difficult”) difficulty, the second one from the top, and we decided to call it a night at that point. Will probably go back to it at some point, but definitely worth the $9.99.

      The soundtrack is amazing. Anyone know where I can buy or download it?

      Also, really surprised this isn’t out on any of the console services yet.

  12. Tiddler says:

    The game looks bloody fun although heart attack inducing levels of madness. I assume the xbox controller will work a treat on it as well!

    Although adding more grey hairs to my head isn’t a good idea but I’m sure the levels of stress from the game is good for me.

  13. vash47 says:

    I can honestly say this is the only indie game I’ve ever played for more than a few hours. It’s incredibly fun and a nice introduction to the bullet hell genre. The best feature is the 4-player local coop without a doubt.

    It’s a must buy if you want something to play with friends.

  14. alilsneaky says:

    He gets hit like a thousand times…
    Score point spam, achievements, filling bars.

    Lol modern gaming.

    • Robert says:

      Well, he is having fun. That should count for something?

    • TotalBiscuit says:

      Can’t tell if dumb or just trolling. It is a bullethell schmup and like all such games, the only place that detects hits is the direct centre of your ship. That is the way it’s supposed to work and the game would be impossible otherwise.

    • Calneon says:

      @alilsneaky Not sure if serious :S

  15. Scatterbrainpaul says:

    Anyone else butter their digestives?

  16. Dominic White says:

    This looks completely tame compared to the games that it’s imitating. The thing with ‘bullet hell’ shooters is that 99% of the shots on-screen are just for show, and will go absolutely nowhere near you. All you have to worry about tracking is the stuff immediately directed at you, and keep in mind that your ships hitbox is approxmately 1 pixel, meaning that you can slip in between bullets without trouble if you just keep calm.

    • Soon says:

      I can only judge from videos (of bullet hell shmups) and playing Xenon 2 and Tyrian, but, I’d say it sits comfortably in between. There’s generally more space than actual bullets and enemies on screen! And you often get a breather. From what I can tell, the ship is probably slower than the usual bullet hell too as a little compromise.

      The bullet count certainly ramps up on the higher difficulty levels and some of the bonus levels though.

    • squareking says:

      This looks like a great intro to bullet hell, and I’m glad they didn’t pile on the bullets from the beginning — that’s a sure way to not sell the game to most players. There appears to be more of a challenge in bonus levels and higher difficulties, so everyone can take a ride.

      I think the one-pixel hitbox might be pushing it (usually they’re anywhere from 3-10px, though it depends on the developer/game/ship), but….hey, it looks impressive dancing through a bullet hailstorm.

    • Veracity says:

      It just has eccentrically labelled difficulties, mostly. Legendary is Normal, Normal is Very Easy, etc. Judgement is fairly evil, if that’s what you want. And it’s no Psyvariar hitbox – more like Strikers, I think, though I haven’t felt much need to experiment with the limits. Takumi’s the most glaring influence, but I think there’s some Toaplan in there, too – it has you steering round moderately fast aimed bullet sludge at least as often as through fixed patterns.

  17. Soon says:

    It’s a fun time! You’ll notice your own skill increase significantly, which is always a nice bonus. I don’t have any experience with bullet hell shmups (and not much with the “normal” ones), but I went from being slaughtered on normal to picking up a few “perfect” runs on the harder difficulties. Came so close to having a level-long vaunt too, but it ran out during the boss, bah. Level 5 is still horrible though.

    It doesn’t sound like there’s much here. But there’s more bonus content than actual campaign (lots!), and the higher difficulty levels are certainly worth attempting (you’ll have to play them to advance at some points anyway). Recommended.

    Good job on the commentary too, TB.

  18. Land says:

    After watching that video I bought the game. I was powerless against the awesomeness.

  19. theallmightybob says:

    The game was fun, but i beat the story mode in just under 3 hours. I am not one for challange modes but i might give them a go next . I think if it had online co-op not just local it could have been ever better.

  20. felisc says:

    funny, on steam frontpage there’s a quote from rock paper shotgun about Jamestown… and this is on french steam ! woowoo, translated rock paper shotgun quotes. a bit surprised.