If you've ever wanted to explore a tropical paradise in a roguelike adventure then here's a game for you. Lost Sea proves that roguelikes can be relaxing as well as hectic so let's sail away and see what treasures await.
Lost Sea puts you in the tattered shoes of a plane crash survivor who must find a way back to civilization. You control your character by running around, slashing a sword at monsters and bushes, and interacting with stage features. However, you're not a very capable chum so you'll need to find other survivors in order to assist you with simple tasks such as unlocking chests, building bridges, and digging for treasure. At first, you can only have one fellow tag along but as you unlock more slots, picking and choosing characters in order to form the most ideal party possible becomes an incredibly enjoyable aspect. Battling monsters is simple as all you basically do is avoid attacks and slash away although some power-ups such as guns and bombs could help you when you're in a pickle. Overall, exploring each island for tablets that lead the way to new islands, recruiting party members, fighting monsters, and discovering loads of treasures makes for one addictive and enjoyable gameplay formula.
Lost Sea's graphics aren't that impressive but they sure are charming. Vibrant environments blend with cel-shaded characters to create a playful atmosphere. Additionally, the soundtrack that's full of lively island jams and relaxing melodies fits the ambience beautifully. Even though Lost Sea doesn't boast the greatest presentation, what's here is endearing enough to make it a worthwhile experience.
As you progress through islands, you'll eventually meet a dastardly pirate boss. After beating him, you advance to the next area of islands. In total, there are five areas with distinct themes including jungle, desert, swamp, and snow. Upon starting a game, you can continue at the beginning of any area that you've already reached. Many incentives are offered that'll keep you hooked even after you bite the dust for the umpteenth time. First, you begin each attempt with extra money and experience points depending on how well you performed in your previous attempt. Starting with a healthy bonus can definitely give you an upper-hand. Next, a treasure catalogue is implemented that you fill out every time you uncover a new treasure. Being able to find them requires you to travel to the correct islands and explore them fully. Finally, a detailed statistics screen will make perfectionists strive to complete as much as they can.
Lost Sea is a fun yet simple game but it suffers from three major problems that are difficult to ignore. The most annoying of which is that right after you clear out all of the monsters on an island, all you're left to do is explore it without any challenge whatsoever. If you're like me, you'll spend half of your time running around islands obsessively trying to collect everything without one monster in sight. It becomes very tedious. On top of this, your party members get stuck behind corners and obstacles way too easily. Sometimes, you're unaware that they're left behind then once you realise it, you have to backtrack to find them. For an example of this, watch the gameplay video below where I clearly didn't realise that I left a character behind. The last substantial issue is that you can't save mid-game so you basically have to play until you perish. Earlier today, I played for about two and a half hours before that happened. Therefore, ensure you put the kids to bed, make the couch comfortable, and set aside a huge chunk of time before you want to play Lost Sea.
Although I enjoyed Lost Sea quite a lot due to its relaxing exploration and rewarding gameplay, its glaring problems get in the way of it being a great game. On the other hand, if it sounds like your sort of adventure then you definitely won't be disappointed.
- + Addictive and satisfying blend of exploration and party management
- + Colourful visuals and fun-filled music
- + Loads of incentives increase replay value
- - After you defeat all of the monsters on an island, gameplay gets very tedious
- - Party members become stuck too easily
- - Inability to save until you meet your demise