Solar Jetman

“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.


The first planet's name is "Preludon." I love it.


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.


Into the darkness...


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.


Into the chasm...


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.


Toward each prize...

2 Responses to “ Solar Jetman ”

  1. Another title I missed on the NES. What is great about your quest to review every NES game is learning about the hidden gems of the system’s nearly 800 game library. You’ve cost me a lot of money picking up these titles.

  2. RizzardCore , on December 9th, 2013 at 12:14 pm Said:

    If you liked this game, you should try The Adventures of Rad Gravity…excellent forgotten game.

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