Review by Courtney
Developed and Published by Limit Break
Released on July 9th 2020
$12.99 on Nintendo switch
1993 Shenandoah is a game that I didn’t particularly think I’d have much of a connection with at first glance. Generally I’m not one for the smaller arcade shooter genre, and on the surface, I figured this would be another game that just wasn’t for me. There’s been a lot of attempts in recent years to recapture the nostalgia from old games, pixel graphics, the simplistic controls and music, and none of it really struck a chord with me.
Right away something felt a little unique about this game. The art style really spoke to me. It was like being eight years old and looking through my dad’s bookshelf at his sci fi novels. It felt so familiar. And while the gameplay overall still isn’t something I would probably buy for myself, it still held my attention in a way so many others like it hadn’t been able to do.
Upon researching the title, I realized perhaps why it was so different. 1993 isn’t just a cute addition to the title. Shenandoah isn’t pretending to be a trendy 90’s baby. It’s the real deal. This game began development back in 1992 by Krister Karlsson and three friends for the Commodore Amiga. But the group split and the game was never fully finished.
Recently, Karlsson found the demo and decided to revisit the project. He and other developers came together to complete the title. The game truly is a relic.
This adds such a deeper level to the game for me, and I really think I might replay it with new eyes after this review is written. It brings a whole new appreciation for me. I can only imagine how Karlsson must feel, finally seeing this game become a reality after it being boxed away for so long.
The game itself is has fifteen stages, with many ships and upgrades to purchase. The game can also be played in co-op(up to four players), which I think is truly a fun addition. The game also offers plenty of boss battles, called sentinel battles in game. There’s a good bit of replayability here to unlock all the upgrades and ships as well.
The game is short but sweet, with the easiest difficulty probably being around an hour to beat all levels, but the game does offer higher difficulties for those wanting more of a challenge.
I think this game would truly interest someone who owned a Commodore Amiga back in the day, or is really looking to experience something similar. The game feels nostalgic in a way that many games try to capture and fail. If you’re looking for a game with intense challenge, this may not be something interesting for you. I think 1993 Shenandoah really is in need of a certain audience to truly appreciate it.
Overall, I think it is a fun game, with really neat sci fi visuals, and a fun little shooter. For these reasons, my rating is an 8/10.