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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 20:32

Game Review: Lost Sea – plucky plunder

By

A colourful adventure awaits as we explore the procedurally generated islands of the Lost Sea.

So you have crash-landed on a semi-remote, but idyllic tropical island. Sounds bad, but in reality it is an opportunity for riches and fame.

In this delightfully rich visual game, your little castaway finds help in the form of a strange man willing to sail you from island to island in search of coin and treasure.

Armed with a machete, the challenge is to wallop a wide variety of enemies, explore the landscape, find crew members and strange stone tablets to progress to the next archipelago island on the way to a boss fight.

The enemies are indeed varied, a little too varied actually. There is little cohesive theme to them; one minute you will thrash at a small dinosaur, the next a hulking Viking or elephant-headed-man whilst dodging the damaging spit of a nasty plant.

Along the way, you will gain experience and coins to unlock ship upgrades as well as a number of survivor skills. You will also need to find crew members to help you in this search as well as battles.

Your acquired crew each have a variety of skills, giving you aid in battles by increasing the impact of your hits, or giving a bonus to experience. Some crew can unlock chests to find handy items, or build bridges to formerly inaccessible areas of the island.

As your castaway gains experience, you can unlock more item and crew slots, as such you will soon have a bunch of crew members following behind, occasionally getting lost or injured.

A nice change to the game would be to make comparison of a newly discovered crew member’s skillset with your existing group of recruited crew members. It is just a little too clunky to swap screens a few times to work out the best option.

Everything is really cute, graphically Lost Sea is a colourful, cartoon-style presentation reminiscent of Torchwood, and the music and audio has a joyful vibe that enhances the theme.

There is perma-death. Lost Sea is a rogue-like, a light rogue-like where death means starting over (though you can warp to locations after each boss is defeated). There is a learning curve, and collecting stone tablets prior to death will give a bonus in the “next life”.

Lost Sea is an enjoyable romp, not overly complicated or burdened with multiple layers of game-engines. It is a great way to spend 20 minutes whilst your non-NBN-equipped home downloads the latest DLC for a more complex game in your collection.


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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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