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Seaworthy: FTL-Style Naval Combat With Sea Shanties

FTL did a fine thing for videogames by making tight, deadly, crew-based management games trendy. Sometimes I think I like them more than single-character roguelikes for the way they outwardly push the strategy of the game from the items in your pockets and the skillpoints in your brain to instead being about whatever vehicle is ferrying you around. Seaworthy is a good example of why. Would you rather be futzing around with whether to swap a sword for a mace, or would you rather be commanding pirates to ready the cannons, keelhaul the first mate, and saw the legs off the wounded?

Stupid question. The game’s currently on Kickstarter and there’s two trailers below.

The game is pitched as a mix of FTL and Sid Meier’s Pirates, and it seems to alternate between ship-to-ship combat in which you outfit and command your crew from a side-on perspective and interstitial choose-your-own events. You can imagine the rhythm of the game: do a fight, get some reward, upgrade your ship with said reward, encounter a lunatic stranded on an island and accept him aboard or don’t, do another fight, and so on. These games live or die based on the stories that spawn between this structure, whether they be of tense survival or calamitous death.

Here’s the Kickstarter pitch video, which is nothing but game footage and fine for it.

It’s also worth watching this slightly older teaser trailer, which contains fewer sea shanties but makes up for it with a greater density of gruesome pixel mutilations.

Of course there had to be giant squid.

We don’t post many Kickstarters these days, but Seaworthy looks like one to look forward to. An alpha build of the game is expected before the end of 2015, probably December, with an Early Access release to follow three months after. $10/£6.58 gets you the game when it’s finished, $25/£16.44 gets you the Early Access, and $75/£49.33 (!) gets you the alpha access.

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Graham Smith

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