King of Seas – Review (Switch)
Some genres just work together, such as fantasy and RPG, or in the DOS days, the good ol’ sci-fi platformer. But what about action, simulation, strategy, pirate RPG. It sounds pretty damn good, right? Well, King of Seas does have all of that but somehow it still fell a bit short for my liking.
Mostly any pirate game in my mind gets pushed up again some classic Sid Meier’s Pirates or Assassins Creed Black Flag. Those are some damn good pirate games. They have a story, adventure, and action. King of Seas tries to do all of that and does get close in some aspects. The story starts pretty well with a decent twist. But then it falters a little bit and is hard to get back on the rails again.
Some things seem to take inspiration from Pirates of the Caribbean and a little bit from Windwaker. The mapmaker is a little bit out there and not really fleshed out. It’s like they just wanted to add some mystical aspect that unfortunately doesn’t pay off too well. It really didn’t feel smooth to me, like some things were added after the fact and don’t seem to mesh with the core story. I understand the want to add a voodoo/magical element into a pirate game, but it could have been better.
Gameplay-wise, it doesn’t wow with anything innovative, but it plays very well. Sailing the ship is exactly what you would expect, drop and sails and make sure the wind is behind you to get the best speed while sailing around. The strategy gets fun during battles, you can raise and lower your sails to try to outmaneuver the enemies. You also have multiple ways to attack, from regular cannonballs to chain balls which will do different types of damage to the ship. What also adds to the character is the skills you can unlock through a skill tree. For example, the first skill you get is a flamethrower attack. If you can get a good hit on the other ship with it, you can do some serious damage and turn the tide (sorry) of battle.
You do get to travel to many different ports throughout the game. There are a few things you should note. Don’t fight near a port, they very well may not let you in or even attack you. Ports are where you can sell items you find, repair, and upgrade your ship. You don’t get to walk around the ports, instead, you have menus to navigate before you trek back out to sea. There is a type of economic system, some ports will buy and sell things higher and lower than others. Just like your crazy family member in stocks says all the time, “Ya gotta buy low and sell high!”
Overall, King of Seas sails fairly straight. Most of my complaints are more annoyances than game-breakers. If you’re a fan of open sea adventures with a mix of strategy, King of Seas may be a game you want to keep your eye on.
Note: GameOctane received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for review is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience. All opinions therein are from the author alone.
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+ Fun adventure mixed with strategy
+ Doesn't take long to learn to sail
+ Skill tree and upgrades help the game tremendously
- Feels like something is missing to put it over the edge
- Some things feel forced lore/story wise