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1993 Shenandoah (PS4) Review with stream

Development for 1993 Shenandoah began in 1992 for the Commodore Amiga and neared completion a year later.  However, the teenage developer at the time never finished it because, you know, life. Now, about 30 years later, development has finished, and the game made available on PS4, Switch, and PC.

A side-scrolling shooter, 1993 Shenandoah plays like a shmup from the 90s but with tons to unlock and upgrade. With over a dozen stages spread across multiple worlds, the game only encourages replayability.  Most enemies drop crystals which are used to purchase new weapon attachments, new ships, and upgrades. To see the staggering amount of unlockables, check out my embedded stream below. There is also an interesting shield mechanic in which the player can rotate a degrading barrier around the ship at will. 

Like classic R-Type or Salamander, this is firmly designated as a “shooter” as opposed to a bullethell. While there are moments of high cluttered action, they never reach insane levels by design. Instead, this is a much more deliberate execution, one that is hand crafted with pacing taken into high consideration.  Each enemy’s placement, each boss, and every bump in the environment has been fashioned with care, yielding a result that offers challenge but rarely frustration. Also, if trouble persists, just try a new weapon combination since there are so many available.  Further, the multiple difficulty settings mean players of all skill levels can enjoy this friendly but serious shooter.

Visually, the game looks like a retro shooter on purpose. Although backgrounds can be a little to basic at times, the wide variety of enemy types makes each stage unique and engaging. The soundtrack isn’t bad by any means, just a little weird and does not fully align with the action-based space battles.

1993 Shenandoah isn’t the best shooter ever, but it is one of higher quality. If was released in 1993, it would have been awesome. As it is released here in 2023, it is still a great shooter, one that fans shouldn’t overlook. In fact, it is rather refreshing to play a shooter loaded with so many weapon options, is hand designed, and not a random roguelite.

Similar Story Of: Clockwork Aquario

Also Play: Wings of Bluestar

Don’t Forget About: Game Type DX

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief

Twitter: @ZackGaz

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