Jets 'n' Guns offers side-scrolling fun

If you’re a fan of arcade-style side-scrolling action games, you owe it to yourself to check out Jets ‘n’ Guns from independent Czech game developer Rake In Grass. The game recently made its Mac OS X debut; a downloadable demo is available, and the full version costs $19.95 to purchase online (you can also get the game on CD for $5 more).

A pack of pirates under the command of the evil dictator Xoxx has kdinapped Professor von Hamburger, who was working on a new quantum cannon at the time of his abduction. The professor must be liberated, and it’s up to you to fight your way through Xoxx’s thick defenses to find him before the professor’s new tool can be used to destroy the universe.

Jets ‘n’ Guns harkens back to the glory-days of 16-bit console shooters and coin-op games: You man the cockpit of a fighter you can customize with unique weapons and other devices as you amass points blasting through 21 levels of progressively more difficult, fast-paced action. Each scenario is different, including levels set in deep space, in a thickly overgrown jungle, a frozen ocean and a planet covered in boiling lava.

This shoot ‘em up, or “shmup” as such games are known in gamer’s parlance, features more than 200 enemies, 57 different weapons and a unique graphics style that combines futuristic science fiction-oriented elements and an almost World War II-era motif together. It also sports an hour-long custom heavy metal-style soundtrack created by Swedish metal act Machinae Supremacy.

Mac system requirements are not listed in the game’s documentation, but PC requirements call for a 1.5GHz or faster processor and ATI Radeon 9600 or Nvidia GeForce 4 or better 3D graphics.

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