Sometimes we are lucky here in the Netherlands. I’m sure in more ways than one, but the one I’m referring to today is in gaming: we have a nice new app game in our AppStore named Seabeard. The game has been soft launched in Canada, Mexico and the Netherlands only, meaning as much that we are getting some hands-on experience, or that the developers are getting a chance to iron out the kinks, depending on how you want to look at it. The game is made my London based company Hand Circus and published by Backflip (the one I know best from Dragon Vale, one of the first AppGames I tried and loved).
How best to describe the game? It’s a freemium game that combines restoring a derelict island that used to be the safe haven of your pirate fore bare Captain Seabeard and it of course involves a lot of hard work on your part, trying to make money and running errands, fishing, learning how to make building materials or and other things using recipes. Nothing new, but what is nice is the way it is worked out. It’s a great game visually, looks very good in a playdoh style. And your own island isn’t the only one, your ship is your most trusty companion, taking you to all kinds of islands in the archipelago trying to find chores to do, materials to gather and friends to meet. And to get from island to island you play mini games that involve shooting targets, racing others boats and such.
The game gives you a lot of good things. You can put messages on message boards for your GameCube friends, and when you build a swap shop, you can actually trade things with them. The mini games add some fun (and can be frustrating too) and the characters you meet are quirky and have funny dialogue. The game has the same day and night cycle as your everyday life has, which is nice. Though it can be kinda depressing when you have no other option then to play it at night after work: always a gloomy nighttime sky! But, there are lots of things to do, and never a dull moment.
At this moment, there are a lot of things that should be adjusted too. First of all, they should really do something about the link with the GameCenter. It’s sketchy to say the least, the game shuts down without reason all the time. Plus, there are too many hurdles to leap before the game is really progressing. Opening a fish stall and after that a food stall requires so much effort and money, that it’s a very slow start. Not necessarily a problem, but when you consider that your inventory only holds 20 items, and that three strawberries count as three items, well, you see my problem. You are out of room pretty quickly, having to throw things away. This can be a pain when you have a quest that requires you to collect some materials. Upgrading the inventory is ridiculously expensive, 50 pearls for an upgrade from 20 items to 25 items in the inventory? You’ve got to be kidding me? The same goes for most things in the game: way too high in expenses to buy anything. You have to play a really long time to be able to afford anything to progress, and for some people that might be a problem. I really don’t mind to invest real money if a game is good, but then I’d have to know it’s really worth it!
So, to wrap it up: the game has the makings of being a really good one, that could keep me occupied for a long time. But I think some adjustments have to be made before it’s released globally. Fortunately due to the current soft launch, there is still time!
This seems similar to Castaway Paradise and Animal Crossing <3
Well, in a way, but I has an entirely different feeling to it, somehow not a light. But that might be because I mostly play it at night, lol!