Semi fun in the sun.
Stranded, alone, and full of doubt, one might think being lost at sea is the worst fate possible. Yet it makes for an interesting premise. Movies, books, and even videogames use the set up all the time. Though Lost Sea isn’t exactly a game filled with story or exciting plot, but is the bluntest way to describe what it’s about. As players embark on a quest to return home, will they survive the perils and return home? Regardless, that’s not even what players will care about in the long term, as Lost Sea is a very arcade like experience that some might find worth diving into.
Islands of fun
So the adventure and fun in the sun starts with players picking their playable character. It’s mostly a cosmetic choice, as the difference between the characters means nothing and they all play the same. Ranging from modern to old timely designs, it’s apparent that the people here have been sort of thrown into this island setting from all sorts of time periods. This adds to the whole Bermuda Triangle vibe, and the catch phrase of the title.
Price I’d Pay: $10.00
How long to beat: 5+ hours
Islands are the theme, and while they have different styles from forest to desert, it’s enough to keep players engaged if it even gets a bit repetitive. Combat is simple enough, and the main game play mechanics are to survive, gain exp, and upgrade character abilities and those of the ship. Sadly, the ship isn’t playable and is only a mechanic to move from point A to point B on the map.
While exploring the islands are always randomly generated, so replaying the levels always gives a new layout. As experience is gained and upgrades are bought, there is more to just hacking and slashing, even if there is still a ton of that to go around. Early on, sprinting becomes an option, later more powerful attacks, and so on. Along the way, crew members can be acquired. These allow stronger stats, ways to explore the maps more like building a bridge, and also can carry the magical tablets, which are the most important items to find in Lost Sea Tablets allow the ship to move forward to the islands; the more tablets, and the bigger chance your dice roll is. Each island is rated, allowing players to determine if they want to tackle the harder island and be closer to the boss or perhaps tackle an easier time at the expense of distance.
A small getaway
Lost Sea is one of the games that sort of presents itself with most of its core ideas early on and then builds itself up with more abilities, more enemies, and harder levels. It all comes at a cost in a way though. Lost Sea is a roguelike when it comes to progression. As long as players can make it to the next subsequent set of islands, upon death or quitting they can warp back to those segments of islands. Yet in doing so, players lose all the abilities they gained.
It’s a shame, as I feel that this almost feels unwarranted. Gaining levels, new moves, and the ability for more crew members is super satisfying, but when it’s always revoked when losing or decide not to play any more in that single session, it’s super disappointing. Lost Sea is a fun diversion, it’s colorful and beautiful in a cute way and offers some fun moments. It just seems better played in shorter spurts than longer durations and unfortunately the game punishes those that prefer that play-style.
My favorite moment: The moment you start gaining abilities and feeling a bit better about your situation. Yet also when you realize you keep none of those upon death or quitting the game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.