I saw this game on keymailer, and was instantly drawn to it for the premise and the graphics. I know I give people who play Seas of Thieves a hard time but this looked way more fun. You can see our first playthrough here.
Graphically this game is gorgeous and I really love the style. It also, like Maneater, serves to remind you just how much crap and pollution in the sea (sad making) but that in turn leads to the major game mechanic off fishing for trash and if you get it in the order the game (well the engine) wants it, you get extra coins – which in turn leads to upgrades. I would love to say we got far enough into the game to feel the main benefits of these, but sadly as a local two player co-op but we did not.
The game difficulty ramps up far too quickly for a two man crew to cope with and it started to get really annoying really fast – especially with the ‘crazy’ modes.
It is a massive shame that the difficulty doesn’t scale down depending on the number of players (like Overcooked asks for more/fewer points to get to 3 stars depending on the number of players).
The level progression portals are much like that in Sackboys Big Adventure, especially with the red/green indicators for all the collectibles (maps) per level. I suppose this is just a standard way of doing it now but a little more originality would have been better. Originality is a thing that this game is missing in terms of how much my community who were watching me play, compared this game to Raft.
Other game mechanics that presented a problem:
Steering: Needs two people for the hard left/right – which if you need to also operate lights or fix the boat or fish for trash becomes an issue. Especially in the ‘crazy’ mode.
Lights: Needed to scare off spiders who seemingly swoop from the sky. Unnecessary and irritating concept, why does the light need continual fixing if the boat is fully powered?
Engine: The inability to kill the engine once it starts is the most infuriating part. I get on ‘crazy’ levels its part of how fast it all moves but on normal levels you should be able to kill it to fish.
Overall, unless you have a 4-person co-op squad either in your home or all online this isn’t doable (why you can’t also mix local players with online like you can on overcooked is beyond me). Sadly the matchmaking meant I could never find a full team and not enough of my friends are willing to give this a go because even on the easiest difficulty you just get spanked so easily.
2 paws out of 5
Its a lovely game to look at but for couples who like couch co-op this has a merciless difficulty curve which will see you give up before you make any real progression. It has clearly taken elements of other games and tried to put their own stamp on it but without some mercy in the game mechanics it is just infuriating.