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Sea Salt slithers ashore this spring

The sea is cold, dark and has a long memory – it’s also pretty salty, and gets even more-so if those pesky landlubbers try to weasel their way out of aeons-old contracts. Sea Salt is an upcoming, vaguely Pikmin-like action strategy game from Y/CJ/Y where you play as Dagon, old god of the sea. The humans have grown bold enough to stop their regular sacrifices, so it’s up to you to extract your pound of flesh (and a few thousand in interest) through a swarm of summoned sea-monsters. The game is due out sometime this spring – have a peek at the very murky trailer below.

Sea Salt looks a bit faster than Pikmin, but with a similar concept. Controlling a single ‘apostle’, you semi-directly lead around a blob of minions and direct them to attack. Big siege monsters smash walls, little swarming critters overwhelm melee fighters and ranged shooters lob fireballs. You’ve only got a limited number of troops, so it’s best to wiggle them out of the way of oncoming attacks, especially from bosses. Yep, got some big pattern-based evade-and-counter brawls here, something that few strategic games have really attempted outside of Starcraft 2.

Sea Salt┬ápromises some replay value through a branching campaign. While it looks relatively short and arcade’y (an interesting contrast against its strategic elements), there are multiple routes through each of its mission areas, sometimes resulting in different end-of-level boss fights. There’s sixteen different unit types to summon, although each of your apostles has their own perks and list of creatures they can use. Interestingly, there’s also a morale system – terrified townsfolk go down easier, though professional monster hunter enemies are immune to panic.

It all has the feel of a weird arcade or SNES-era console strategy game that never was. If there’s one reservation I have about the game, it’s the palette. While completely appropriate for the theme of the game its sickly blend of watery greys, greens and browns might obscure the action, but I hope I’m wrong on that point. Still, whether it stays afloat or sinks without a trace hinges on just how dark and foreboding its depths really are.

Sea Salt is due out sometime this spring, although no final date or price has been decided yet. You can see a little more of it in the murky depths of its Steam store page here, and its official page here. There’s also an old demo available here on Itch.

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Dominic Tarason

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