You’ve been marooned on an island by a convenient turn of events. You meet a scientist who explains to you that, by finding magical tablets, you can travel from island to island and hopefully escape.
So… You do just that.
The game can be played with either keyboard and mouse or gamepad. I used the latter simply because it was far more comfortable than the keyboard setup.
You begin each playthrough by selecting 1 of 8 characters. These are merely aesthetic and have no bearing on how the game will play.
Then, you hop onto your ship and sail to the first island in the first zone (unless you have warp, but more on that later). Islands have a varying enemy difficulty from easy-hard. On them, you’ll hunt down tablets, which can be found at random, so that you can move from island to island. One tablet means you can move to the next islands in the chain of islands.
You’ll continue doing this until you reach the large island at the end—the one with a huge skull and dark, ominous clouds hanging above it—where you’ll face a boss.
If you die, you’re given a statistical breakdown of what you’ve done in game:
Then, you choose a character and dive into the game with a fraction of the resources you picked up during your last run and none of the skills you’ve unlocked.
Rinse, wash, and repeat.
Once you clear a zone you unlock the ability to Warp between them freely. There are four in total, not counting the starting area.
In addition to tablets, you’ll also find keys that will allow you to pass gates that otherwise block your path. The islands also contain collectable treasures and pickups with a variety of effects. These pickups can heal you, add more stats, and the like. Unfortunately, there’s no telling what items do until you use them.
Once or twice I’ve tried a mysterious potion that miraculously drained all of my HP or some other awful thing that put me at a horrible disadvantage when fighting the foes on the island.
The islands are rather uniform in appearance, despite their procedural generation. Every area has its own biome, which is visually interesting at the very beginning of the chain of islands, but quickly loses its luster.
The music is nothing special, just a repeating loop.
There are plenty of upgrades to unlock and treasures to discover while you travel the isles. Dying results in you losing all of those upgrades, but the amount of resources retained after you die is pretty generous, so you should have no problem regaining the skills you lost.
There isn’t a story so you could go on playing indefinitely as long as you’re willing.
- Boss fights are fun in the classic learn-the-attack-pattern-in-order-to-win style.
- A good mix of upgrades available for combat and exploration.
- Crew members have different skills, which allow for some strategizing.
- Character selection has no bearing on gameplay.
- Procedural generation doesn’t create any particularly different levels.
- Your crew members aren’t very intelligent. They will cower and take damage from both enemies and yourself (yes, friendly fire is a thing) and will oftentimes die. They won’t fight back and they won’t try to get away.
- It takes quite a bit of grinding to be able to afford new skills. Until then, combat is monotonous.
- There’s no description of items. It takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what does what.
Lost Sea is a fun, albeit repetitive experience. Newcomers to the rogue-like genre will find a good starting place here, though veterans will likely get bored with the basic combat and the lacking arsenal of pickups/equipment.
All in all, a title I’d suggest getting at a discount or avoiding entirely.
Stay in the know, gamers ❤