“The gameplay has arguably even improved with time, standing the test of age very well, and could easily be enjoyed as a re-release or high-definition independent remake.”
– excerpt from the full review, which can be read here.
As you play Solar Jetman, you would hardly think to stop and describe it as a mere shoot-’em-up.
Yet trying to approximate its genre, or even a comparison, can be difficult. Solar Jetman, in my opinion, is among the more distinctive titles on the NES. There is really no other 8-bit game quite like it, and it provides a memorably unique experience.
I fully cede that it would not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I confidently affirm that this is one of the real gems of the NES library. This stands a good chance of making my list of top 10 NES games I would give to someone if they were looking for the broadest taste of the system possible, to experience as much variety as they could while retaining a high gameplay value per selection.
I mean, Gilligan’s Island on NES is somewhat distinctive too, but the extent to which I prefer Solar Jetman as a game is of an exponential magnitude.
Solar Jetman, with its inky blackness of space and cast-you-out-on-your-own exploration, has some similarities with Metroid. Consider, too, the science fiction theme and password retrieval for progress marking.
If you have not figured it out, I will confess: I have a soft spot for Rare games, whether on NES or Nintendo 64.
Also, if you are one of those retro warriors looking for a truly meaty old-school challenges, I think Solar Jetman might be right up your alley. This thing is downright arduous.
I want to be clear, though: Solar Jetman is rightly difficult. It is well-designed to be hard. This is not a game where you will experience cheap deaths from pop-out surprise enemies or glitchy brokenness. This is a game where you have been given full control of your craft, no time limit, and complete freedom to go about each mission as you would like, yet still with a steep learning curve. Reminiscent of Solomon’s Key, in that any degree of difficulty is quite intentional.
Honestly, I regard Solar Jetman as more like a 4.25-star game. When you see that four-star rating, just know that I consider Solar Jetman a slight step above some other four-star games, as very solid as they are.
Read The Full Review For: A fun point-out about a musical similarity from Rare, in-depth praises of some of the finer points of the game, and various strange descriptors.
NES Gameplay Tips For Solar Jetman: Get enhanced thrusting as soon as possible. Don’t give up. Savor the fine-tune controls and sense of exploration. Enjoy. Good luck.