Neo Atlas 1467

Review Neo ATLAS 1469 (Switch)

Game: Neo ATLAS 1469
System: Nintendo Switch
Developer/Publisher: Studio Artdink /NIS America.
Price: $49.99| £37.99
Age Rating: EU  3+ | USA E 10+
Release Date: USA 9th April 2019|EU 12th April 2019
Also Available On: Steam

Review code kindly provided by NIS America

Have you ever fancied sailing the seven seas? Discovering new lands and fighting pirates? Well, now is your chance as NIS America are releasing a physical edition of Neo Atlas 1469 on the Nintendo Switch.

The game in a nutshell

In Neo Atlas 1469, you play the role as the Master of a Trading Company. Your aim is to complete the World Map using your Admirals and their fleet of ships. To spread the word what the “world” really is, be it round or flat. Only you can decide to “Approve” or “Disapprove” which is the key to shape the world! Oh and one other detail…they have also misplaced an Admiral somewhere as well. A trading company without an Admiral and any ships……things are looking a bit bleak! 

Meet your advisor: Miguel

When the game starts you are shown a story about the missing Admiral Gomez and you’re introduced to Miguel, who is your advisor.

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You start the roughly hour long tutorial which Miguel leads you through. Everything in the menu is locked including saving your game until Miguel has finished leading your through the running of your trading company. It is your goal to set up a thriving trading company and discover the world in the process, but first you must find your missing Admiral.

The tutorial consists of storyboard cut screens and lots of moving about on a small portion. You see the only bit of the map that isn’t under fog which is Europe. I felt it was a bit prolonged, but once the tutorial continued and more storylines or episodes opened up it started to grab my interest.

The tutorial does however do a good job of showing you how to set up trading routes, hunt for treasure chests on the map, explore sunken ships and explaining how to discover the world under all that fog.

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Meet the prime minister of Portugal

Once you have found Admiral Gomez, the King of Portugal’s Prime Minster makes an appearance. He asks you to find a mysterious place on the other side of the map under the fog. This is the first of many Quests or Episodes as they are called to complete. They range from discovering new lands to finding a missing hat, to finding what land has a particular item to trade. 

Setting up trade routes

Trade routes are simple to set up. Find the item you want to trade and what you want to trade in return, purchase a ship and trading begins. Of course you have to take into account distance to travel and the type of ship to use. If a trade route hits a problem, like your ship is getting attacked by pirates or the stock of the item you are trading is running low, Miguel will pop up on screen and let you know. Get used to seeing Miguel pop up and give advice often as he is very dedicated to his job.

As you progress through the game more trade ships and exploration ships become available to purchase. Your Admirals also gain experience and level up their stats the more they travel.

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Exploration is what it’s about

The main focus of the game aside from the trade routes is the exploration. You purchase various ships for your Admirals, which increase in fire power and distance they can travel. Chart a route through the fog and off your Admiral sails. When your Admiral returns from his journey you are shown a short cut scene from the ships journey through the fog.

There are a few hazards on the ocean and seas. Your Admiral will run into sea monsters that may wreck their ship or, if they are lucky, it’s a peaceful voyage and the only thing they might come across is a school of dolphins. Best off all, they might discover new lands and new places to trade with.

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To approve or disapprove

Whatever your Admiral encounters is retold to you and you then get the choice to either Approve or Disapprove their voyage. If you Approve that portion of the map they have travelled, it is revealed including any new cities and items to trade. If you Disapprove they can try that route again or cancel it.  This is how the map is shaped from under the fog. Your map will not necessarily look like today’s world map as it depends on what you Approve and Disapprove as the map is revealed.

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How to finance the travels

Trading is the main way to earn your money to be able to afford to upgrade your fleet. It isn’t the only way to earn money. You also earn more by completing episodes, making discoveries by zooming in on the portions of map that have been revealed and also by finding treasure chests dotted around the map. These chests range from large to small and to find some of them you have to zoom in all the way on the map as they don’t always stand out.

While you are playing and finding treasures Miguel will keep you up to date with what is happening elsewhere. If one of your exploration fleets returns to port after its journey you are shown the cut scene from the Admiral. You are whisked away from what you where doing to watch that cut screen though. This is fine for the first ten times or so but then it gets a wee bit repetitive. However that doesn’t put me off wanting to explore the world and find out what way my world map will turn out. 

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What will your map look like?

After around 15/20 hours of playing Neo ATLAS 1469 this picture above is of my exploration, as you can see I have quite a bit to uncover yet. There is lot of content in the game to keep you discovering and trading for probably well over 30 hours of gameplay. Since the map is uncovered by what you approve and disapprove I would think if the game was replayed you would reveal a completely different map than that from your first play through. 

Neo ATLAS 1469 can be played either by controls or the touchscreen, I mostly played with a combination of both and it works well through out the gameplay. There are various music stones to find in the game while you are looking around the map. The music can be changed to which ever track you like from the ones you have discovered, it all depends on which of the tracks you’ll like.

The game is fun to pick up and play in small batches or for longer gameplay which every suits you.

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The conclusion

I’ve had lots of fun with Neo ATLAS 1469 and I will continue to enjoy the game until I have revealed all of the map. With all the trading and discovering new lands and numerous different storylines playing out as each of your admirals have their own individual little stories as well, the game has lots to offer. 

Of course with most games there is a bit of repetitiveness in the reports from your Admirals and such, however there is a fast forward button so you can skip some. But beware, you might miss something important!

I think Neo ATLAS is a unique game with all its different components coming together very well. They make a great game and one that I would definitely recommend.  

I like Neo ATLAS 1469 a lot. 

I like it a lot!

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