If you've been reading FRAGtopia for long, or you know me,
you'll know that I've got a real thing for the simpler things
in life. Well, when it comes to games anyway. I'm big on the
old school, and I've got a real soft spot for the little guy.
That being said, the majority of independent games I've played
either totally suck, or are just lacking something that makes
them fun. I'm happy to report that Jets'n'Guns from Rake in
Grass is neither of these things. In fact, it's an action
packed adrenaline rush of a game, and a hell of a deal for
You're a mercenary. You have a plane. You kill things. There's
a right bastard called Xoxx who out to destroy the universe.
As per usual, it's up to you the player to stop him. There's
thousands of Xoxx's minions in your way. It's not much of
a story, but then again we're not exactly playing a space
epic here are we? Let the carnage commence.
ever played R-Type, you know the basics of JNG. It's a side
(and slight up/down) scrolling space shooter. The arrow keys,
alt and control are all you need to use. You can play with
the mouse if you like, but the keyboard is much more responsive.
Killing enemies, destroying buildings and picking up money
will all give you money to spend at the end of the missions
when you have the options to upgrade your ships equipment
and weapons. You can also pick up cargo and use a special
tool you purchase to "hack" the container and get
at the goodies. Personally I never bothered, I just sold the
containers as I found the hacking process to be a little annoying
and I usually failed.
attention to detail. The graphics are rich and colorful, with
lots of nice detail work on the environments, enemies and
your ship as well. The weapons effects and explosion when
you really get going sometimes fill the entire screen, which
is very eyecandyalicious, but it can be a little hard to keep
track of your ship in these circumstances. The terrain you'll
be flying through will vary from asteroid fields and frozen
worlds to lava worlds and enemy bases. You also get to attack
a Machinae Supremacy concert, which was a great deal of fun.
You can destroy pretty much everything in this game, other
than the ground itself, and there's few things in this world
better than raining death down on enemy infantry, and seeing
them blow apart, or run around screaming on fire. It's also
quite entertaining to shoot down enemy aircraft, and have
the wreckage crash into more enemies and damage or kill them.
To get a true idea of the loving attention put into this game,
just check out the screenshots.
Sound and Music
Supremacy! I've always liked these guys
since I downloaded a remix of the Great Gi anna Sisters music
from them a few years back, and they did a great job on the
in game music for Jets'n'Guns. They're a swedish alternative
rock band, and the music they've made really gets you pumped
for destruction. Some nice metal, some more ambient tunes,
overall one of the best soundtracks I've heard for a game
in ages. The in game sounds as well done as well, nothing
mind blowing, but they work. :)
would a space shooter be without tons of firepower and eye
candy to throw around? Creating waves of explosions and death
is the best things about these sorts of games. The initial
ship you start is really quite useless, and not much fun as
it's quite fragile. A few missions into the game however you
steal yourself a sweet experimental fighter that will be your
ride for the rest of the games. One of the interesting things
about JNG is that the new weapons aren't pickups. (There are
however still power ups that you can pick up) As you gain
money through the game, you purchase new equipment and weapons
at the end of each mission. In addition to new devices (such
as a sensor that identifies wanted pirates that are worth
extra bounty in the missions) and weapons you can also update
all of the equipment on your ship. For instance, most weapons
have at least a few levels of upgrade you can purchase that
increases their firepower and destructive potential. You can
also upgrade your ships ability to dissipate heat (Critical,
always do this first), your engines and hull strength. As
you upgrade your ship, you can see the changes in your on
screen ship, which is very cool. You can also sell back your
gear if you're not happy with it. There's a test mode you
can enter when you're equiping your ship to try out your new
toys before you actually get into it with the enemy. I had
a few bad experiances where I jumped right into the fight
and found that the new weapons I bought were massively overheating
my ship. Shoulda tested em out first!
main ship has three main forward facing weapons, one rear
mount, (generally best to equip the tracking gun here, it's
great for taking out things above and below you), rockets/missiles
and bombs. When you fully equip and upgrade everything it's
amazing the waves of firepower you can put out. Most levels
will offer you at least one new type of gear at the end, so
you always have something to work for.
found. Hah. I'm always so happy when I complete and a game
and nothing stupid happens.
If you like side scrolling shooters, or maybe even if
you don't, Jets'n'Guns is well worth playing. The graphics,
music and gameplay are all outstanding and the attention to
detail the development team has put in is simply amazing.
It's certainly the best offering in this genre I've seen in
many many years, and with some of the new things they've introduced
they've certainly raised the bar on the side scrolling shooter.
I can't wait to see what Rake in Grass comes up with next.
They obviously truly love what they do.
As a side note, I sent an email to their tech support
requesting the system requirements for JNG, and I had an email
back within an hour with all the information. Thanks Pavel!
One advantage of buying games and software from smaller companies
is that the customer service is generally quite good, as opposed
to the larger companies who usually don't even want to talk
One thing I would like to see on JNG (and someone commented
on their forums about this) is co-operative play. But then
again, I say this about pretty much every game I play.