Ever since I started writing for Nintendo Link, I feel like I’ve had some fantastic luck. There’s a good chunk of the games I’ve had the opportunity to review that have been really fun to play. In fact, the very first game I got my hands on became one of my all-time favourites on the Nintendo Switch, Mars Horizon! This is a trend that has continued with King of Seas, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
An action-RPG, King of Seas has you sailing around in a ship (of course), defending yourself while moving from port to port to complete various tasks given to you in those ports. You can accept side quests, repair your ship, hire new crew members, buy new ships among other things while you are docked, and there’s even a trading system that will allow you to make a ton of gold by trading items at the right ports.
Sailing around the ocean is satisfying and easy to learn in King of the Seas, which makes for a pleasant experience in general. It’s not so easy to where you are mindlessly sailing about constantly, but it’s simple enough to learn that you’ll never feel confused by the controls. There are other factors too, such as wind, enemy ships, and random events to keep in mind as you travel around the place, whether you are on a quest or not. When the music that wouldn’t be out of place in a Pirates of the Caribbean movie starts blaring, you can’t help but really get lost in the setting. This is a perfect example of a game that got it’s aesthetic completely right, whether it be visuals, audio or gameplay, 3D Clouds have perfected it.
The fact that the map is procedurally generated means that every playthrough is going to have new islands to explore and can offer more or less challenges based on where certain ports and landmarks are located. It really adds a sense of adventure to every new game that you start and can keep things fresh after multiple plays while not affecting the story in any frustrating or off-putting ways.
The storyline is one that I found to be quite interesting: voodoo magic and pirates being banished after being defeated by the navy. Hundreds of years later, you play one of the King’s children, and while on a mission he is killed by some long forgotten voodoo magic. You are blamed for the murder, but are rescued from certain death by a quirky group of pirates. I’d give it a thumbs up for being easy to follow but also a lot of fun to play through.
Throughout my playing of the game, I only ran into one big glitch, which seemed to be directly tied to something I did in my playthrough. The glitch rendered me unable to continue the story, however the team at 3D Clouds have let us know that there is a patch coming on day one that is going to fix a lot of the bugs. Otherwise, the load times seem a little long at times as well, but they are the only two things about the game that I found even remotely frustrating (One clearly being the bigger issue than the other).
The game feels tight outside of those issues, and considering the initial glitch I mentioned, it didn’t happen on my second playthrough. I can say that it in no way soured my enjoyment of the game.
You level up by doing quests, picking up various objects floating at sea, and of course winning battles. One aspect of the battles I was incredibly relieved about was that if you are in the middle of a skirmish and an ally shows up and destroys your target, you still get experience and access to the loot drops that come when you win a battle. However, if you merely watch a battle and don’t get involved, you aren’t rewarded with anything.
Throughout your adventure, you get access to new upgrades for your ship, and it’s the upgrades that are the most fun to play around with. There’s something super satisfying about laying explosive traps for enemy ships that are pursuing you, and there are few things more satisfying than shooting giant sharks (Yes, you read that right) to go and mess with your enemies. Those were my favourite two abilities, and mixed with an ability I had that turned me into a ghost ship so I could safely ram into any enemy who got too close, and it felt like I was invincible! It was in that moment that I finally felt like I was a pirate whose presence on the sea would fill his enemies with terror!
It’s worth noting that King of Seas does have a demo available on the Nintendo Switch eShop, and so if this review hasn’t been enough to convince you that this is a game that is worth your time and money (Yes, I’m saying it’s worth full price), then go and find out for yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose and many, many hours of sailing the ocean shooting sharks at people to enjoy.
Fun abilities to play with
Fresh for multiple plays
A couple of notable bugs
Some long loading times