Ship of Fools Review thumbnail

Ship of Fools Review

Bring a shipmate

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 🐙

Ship of Fools is also available for Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch

Ship of Fools is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

If you want another frantic co-op game to add to your multiplayer line-up then come aboard the quirky and challenging Ship of Fools.

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Ship of Fools screenshot 1
Let's blast these ugly bugs!

All aboard!

Ship of Fools has you and a friend play as your goofy mute characters of choice and the goal is to navigate through a tiled sea chart as a boss cloud encroaches. In this sense, there is some strategy required as choosing where to sail next has the potential to reward you with helpful bonuses or end your run with an unfortunate relentless onslaught of enemies. Considering this is a roguelike game, as soon as your ship sinks after taking too much damage, you'll have to start all over again although you will get some currency that you can use to purchase upgrades between runs. Oh, and you can play solo but I highly recommend bringing a crewmate along for the ride. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

You sunk my battleship

So, what's the actual gameplay like? Well, you basically aim and shoot cannons at all sorts of sea creatures while trying not to let them damage your ship. The thing is; these cannons are moveable so you can pick them up and move both to one side, spread them out, or whatever you feel is the most strategic choice. You'll also have to reload regularly from an infinite supply that itself is moveable and if you're lucky, you'll earn additional ammo types that can help you gain the upper-hand such as one that travels through enemies. On top of all that, you'll also have to melee attack enemies that board your ship and heal with any wood planks that you come across. 🩹

Ship of Fools screenshot 2
Now, those are some creepy jellyfish

Stinky bugs and sea monsters

One cool aspect of Ship of Fools is the array of enemy types. For starters, there are some that will leave an exploding carcass behind that you'll have to shoot away from your ship and others that spawn bugs that will bite your ship if you don't whack them in time. At the end of each sea chart is a boss battle as well that will definitely put your skills to the test. Heck, the first one alone will take you at least a few attempts as it's a tentacled monster that has tricky phases and attacks which require a lot of concentration in order to overcome. 🦑

Is that a harpoon in your pocket?

As I mentioned, Ship of Fools features cool upgrades and spending currency on enhancing your cannons, maximum health, and such is satisfying stuff for sure. In addition to that, you'll come across loads of temporary items on your travels and a lot of them require you to fire harpoons at them in order to bring them aboard. Whether you reel in some currency, a repair patch or shield, or a charm that affects the gameplay such as imbuing your cannon shots with a status ailment; it's always exciting to see what you'll come across next. 😀

I swear we've already been on this voyage

Although Ship of Fools seems like a great game and it features some downright charming cartoon visuals that I love, I must admit that its gameplay is still rather basic at its core and it gets old much faster than you'd hope it would. When my gaming chum and I started playing it, we were quite frustrated as the difficulty is undeniably high when you're first starting out and that can be discouraging. However, once we got in the groove and started playing effectively, the fun that we were having quickly became tedious and the constantly repeated scenarios certainly don't help with that. In the end, this is one co-op game that could use a lot more variety. 🥱

Ship of Fools screenshot 3
Hang in there, crew; we can do this!

Playing Ship of Fools will have you intimidated at first and shortly after the fun starts to sink in, you'll realise just how repetitive it all is. There are still good times to be had, though, so you may only want to take short excursions on this ship.

  • + Innovative gameplay that rewards cooperation, fast-thinking, and some strategy
  • + Appealing cartoonish graphics
  • + Nifty permanent and temporary upgrades
  • - Gameplay is a bit too simple at its core and overstays its welcome rather early
  • - Very steep difficulty at first
  • - Certain situations get repetitive fast
7.1 out of 10
Gameplay video for Ship of Fools thumbnail
Watch A.J. play Ship of Fools
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