Game: Her Majesty’s Ship
Genre: Adventure | Simulation | Action
System: Nintendo Switch | Steam
Developers | Publishers: Every Single Soldier | Ultimate Game
Age Rating: EU 16+ | US T
Price: EU €9,99 | US $10.99 | UK £8.99
Release Date: September 15th 2020
Review code used, with thanks to Ultimate Games
Time to set sail on Her Majesty’s Ship an adventure, simulation game from developers Every Single Soldier. Hoist the main brace and take on the role of captain of an 18th-century vessel.
Reach the Rank of Admiral
Your objective in Her Majesty’s ship is to reach the rank of Admiral of the fleet. To achieve this you need to carry out orders from the Admiralty and look after the moral of the crew and ensure the ship under your command remains afloat. You fight as one of four nations, England, France, Portugal, or Spain, and avoid the Dutch and their Flying Dutchman as they like to sink everything in sight!
If you’re looking for a deep story in Her Majesty ship, well you’ll be looking for quite a while and not find it! The story is the objective in the game, start as an ambitious captain in a race to become an admiral, that’s all there is.
After a tutorial that introduces you to the gameplay via a swath of info-boxes where you are taken through how to perform the duties on the ship. Then you’re left to your own devices, with a final info box telling you that you now have a working knowledge of running your own ship. It’s a standard start to this style of game, to bombard the player with info and expect them to remember it all. And for the most part, I did remember the tutorial. If you do need help there are info boxes that pop up during gameplay to help you along.
Unfortunately, this is where the problems start with Her Majesty’s Ship, the pop-up boxes overlap and obscure the players’ view. This is most noticeable when you are trying to buy stock for your ship. A pop-up box totally obscured the view of the buying box, resulting in my crew going hungry as I couldn’t see the menu to buy food. And on the ship, when it came to feeding the crew, the same thing happened again and I couldn’t even set the rations for the crew to eat.
There are numerous things to watch out for while you are captain. Such as ensuring crew morale is high at all times. This can be done by keeping the crew happy with food and rum.
Carry Out Orders
You’ll need to keep an eye on supplies as well. And stock up when you arrive in port, though you only ever carry, food, rum, and gunpowder. Your crew will mutiny if their morale reaches zero and you as captain get demoted and the game ends. Morale can be influenced by events on the ship if events go well moral goes up and you can guess what happens if events don’t go well, the crew will mutiny again. As I’ve mentioned, the majority of the time I tried to buy food the menu was obscured from view, so I got very familiar with the “mutiny on your ship” message!
You also get requests from the Admiralty in the way of alert flags that fly on one of the ship’s masts. These alert the player to issues on the ship that need to be attended to, such as “the anchor is lowered” and “crew member is in the medical bay”. You’ll get a reward for completing tasks but you also get penalized for missing tasks.
Every single task has a time limit, even the most basic stuff. There’s no kind of strategic feel whatsoever to Her Majesty’s Ship, you’re just clicking areas of the ship and hoping things get finished before the very constricted time limit runs out.
Each area on a ship is divided into 17 stations, to carry out a command you click on a station to issue orders. That is about all you do in Her Majesty’s Ship and It turns in to a click feast for the player. I spent my time clicking my way through the game, following orders. I would have liked more control over the game and not be continually having to follow orders.
Your ship can be sent to various towns and islands across the over-world map, where extra resources and enemy ships can be found, but for the most part, travel is mostly used to complete objectives from the Admiral.
Keep Crew Morale Up
Time of day is another complication, as of course, your crew wants to sleep at nighttime, who doesn’t. But a ship can’t operate effectively if everyone is asleep, so the crew loses morale at an accelerated rate at night.
Another important factor is repairs on your ship’s hull. It has a strength meter and if it reaches zero you’re sunk, you can repair the ship by assigning crew to the repair station. But since you can’t feed the crew they have probably mutinied anyway by the time you ship sinks from a damaged hull.
You control your ships on a world map, by pointing to where you want them to sail to and if they come across another nation’s ship combat begins. Combat in Her Majesty’s Ship is pretty simplistic, but not really a challenge. Running out of gunpowder isn’t a great idea either during combat, but I think you can guess why I ran out of it.
Once you understand how the mechanics work it’s not particularly challenging or enjoyable, it’s just a matter of grinding your way to a win while periodically stepping on an opponent’s flagship. Overall gameplay is hindered by an appalling UI that is cluttered and seems to have a life of its own at times. The decisions for the player are mostly basic resources management based. And didn’t I mention clicky?
Visuals and Controls
One thing Her Majesty’s ship does have going for it is that it is focused on being historically correct. The tasks the crew complete and the orders barked at them by the ship captain all depict the era the game is set in.
The sound effects are fine, and during combat, the effects do give the impression your listening to cannon fire and wood splitting. Visually Her Majesty’s ship has a low-poly cartoonish look, and certain areas of the game don’t look at all realistic, the blocky looking sea is a perfect example of this.
Her Majesty’s Ship is fully controlled by the joy-con, and I think its a bit of a missed opportunity to not incorporate the Nintendo Switch touch screen. Like the pop up menus, the controls do not feel intuitive and are clunky.
Her Majesty’s Ship feels like a direct port from PC with little or no conversion work carried out on it for its release on the Nintendo Switch. Playing the game for this review proved to be a frustrating experience, to say the least.
Her Majesty’s Ship, in my opinion, could be a decent game if the control and menu problem where fixed to make it a less frustrating experience. As it is at the moment I can only say my score is….
Final Verdict: I Don’t Like It