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Jets 'n' Guns

Score: 90%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Stardock
Developer: Rake in Grass
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Arcade/ Classic/Retro/ Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Ah, to be young again. I remember playing games like Jets 'n' Guns in the arcade when I was kid. There was no 3-D environment to move 360 degrees in. You had a 2-D world where you controlled one side view of your ship and the world scrolled past you while you tried to shoot everything that moved, and tried not to get blown up. Rake in Grass has given us, the “older than some” crowd, a great classic arcade style side-scrolling space shooter in Jets 'n' Guns. Don’t expect it to be too retro or too classic though. They have really stepped up to the plate and delivered a game that everybody can enjoy.

Graphics wise, they take a 2-D environment and really juice it up with extras that you would think would only be showcased in the higher end and more expensive games. I was very impressed with the fire and explosion effects during the levels. The explosions create fire trails that have very realistic smoke. When an enemy ship explodes, the enemy pilots start floating down in some levels and when you shoot them, they spurt blood and scream while they fall. Your ship also fires bullets with shell casings that fall and won’t simply disappear, but will hit another ship or object in the environment. Lots of incredible detail for a so-called flat environment. For parents that are concerned about the gore content of the game, you can shut off some of the more gory aspects of the game, (like blood coming from floating pilots), in the Options menu when you start the game, but what fun is that?

The game also has over an hour of heavy metal music by the band Machinae Supremacy to enjoy while you complete your missions. I can’t say that I really enjoyed the music; I really didn’t notice it too much. In this, I think they created a soundtrack that serves its purpose for the game. It doesn’t distract you from what you’re doing, but it does add to it. I think if they had a soundtrack of my favorite AC/DC songs, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on what I was doing; I would be getting slaughtered while I sang along with “You shook me all night long”. The music does sound a little electronic for heavy metal, but did you buy a CD or a video game?


It’s been a while since I really sat down to play a game. But when I first sat down to play Jets 'n' Guns, it was like I have been playing every day since I was 12. Playing this kind of arcade game is natural to me. Maybe I should be worried that blowing things up comes natural to me. Hmmmmm.

In Jets 'n' Guns, you have 21 levels of not only space, but a lava planet and deep jungles, and much more with over 200 different enemies you can shoot at with over 50 different weapons. Now on the first level, you start off with a simple single-shot weapon. Then, with the cash that you start off with, you can upgrade that to a triple-shot gun that will really clear out the enemies. Be careful though. On each level you have a mission, and if you forget what that mission is, you can get the message “Mission Failed”, even though you have killed all the enemies.

On each level, there are places where you can get extra hull integrity, extra cash and other things, which really helps in between missions to upgrade your ship. You also get more cash the faster you complete the level.

While playing Jets 'n' Guns, I found some things out the hard way. There are some things that you can’t fly through and some things that will cause your ship to explode if you get too close. I will give you a hint. If something has fire on it, blow it up before you get too close.


I think it might be just because I am a little rusty, but when I first put in Jets 'n' Guns, I kept dying very quickly. I had to put it on the easiest settings just to get to the second level. Ok, go ahead and laugh. After I got the hang of it, I put it back on Medium difficulty. Yeah, that’s the ticket, medium difficulty, that’s what I put it on. But what I didn’t realize the first time I played the game is that the game is so well designed, that things in your environment can cause your ship to explode, as I mentioned before. When you’re firing your weapons, your engines can overheat. It might get to the point that you’re not able to shoot your guns anymore and it might be during a time when you most need them. Keep your eyes out for hull integrity and cash power ups to give you that needed boost at the right time.

There are three difficulty levels: Novice, Standard Hero, and Veteran. I never did get up to Veteran, but I haven’t given up yet!

Game Mechanics:

I was very impressed with how easy that Jets 'n' Guns was to control. You can either use your keyboard and mouse, or a joystick. I used both the mouse and keyboard first and then tried the game with the joystick. I still haven’t decided which I prefer, the mouse or joystick. You can go in any direction in your environment, and down and speed up; I imagine it will be easier when you get to the higher levels to use the joystick, so you can assign certain buttons to toggle your different weapons.

You can download a Demo of Jets ’n’ Guns at various websites, but the official website is HERE. If you decide to buy the game, which I really recommend, you can also download it from the Web as well and you don’t even have to get out of the house.

I can only think of one more thing to say about Jets 'n’ Guns.


-Wickserv, GameVortex Communications
AKA Eric Wickwire

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP, 500 MHz Processor, 64 MB RAM 100 MB Hard Drive Space, 32 MB 3D Video Card

Test System:

Windows XP, 3.00 GHz Pentium 4 Processor, Integrated 5.1 channel audio 1 GHz of RAM, Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 9002,

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