Developed By : Zen Studios
Published By : Zen Studios
Category : Turn-Based, RPG, Strategy
Release Date : Apr 29, 2020
Vacations are a pretty fantastic thing, getting to fly or sail off to some faraway place and leave your troubles behind. But as many people know, not everything always goes according to plan, and when you apply that logic to the world of video games…nothing ever goes right. Such is the case for your less than peaceful cruise on the ship Hope in Dread Nautical on the Nintendo Switch.
Part turn-based strategy, part roguelike, this game sets you out on a cruise that quickly becomes overrun with supernatural energy. Monstrosities and zombies of all kinds are everywhere, without any solid idea of where they might have come from. Now, you must set out across the ships 20 levels of decks in hope for supplies, other survivors, and Hope-fully, a clue as to what brought about this madness and how to survive it.
To start your adventure you’ll need to choose from one of the games different heroes. Each begin with the same basic stats for health, inventory slots and Action Points to use during their turns, but what makes them unique from each other are their abilities. The detective has the ability to investigate anything worthwhile as soon as he enters a room, while the ex-Yakuza is capable of dealing better damage with bladed weapons than with guns.
For the most part Dread Nautical operates like a turn-based game, but turns aren’t a factor until you get close enough to an enemy to engage in combat. Outside of fights you are free to move as much and as far as you’d like, while still utilizing the games grid-based system. Explore the limits of each room for items to help you and fellow survivors out, or head straight for the zombies and smack them down.
Some fights can be avoidable, but most are hard to get out of once you trigger them. Each person has a set amount of points they can use on each turn of combat. With this turn you can move, investigate items, or flat out attack your enemies. Or, if you have the capabilities, you can heal. Just like any other turn based game, once your points are spent (or you decide you don’t want to spend them) it passes on and on until either all of your characters are dead, or all the zombies are.
Your fists can be used as a weapon in combat. They don’t deal much damage but they have infinite uses and don’t suffer any deterioration. Naturally though, you’ll want to outfit yourself with weapons, which you’ll find a decent amount of on your runs. These will let you deal much bigger damage, but have a limited amount of uses so be sparing.
In addition to weapons and items, you’ll find a ton of scraps lying around. These will be a great help to you, as they help update your hub area where you’ll spend your time between each day. With these scraps you can upgrade your sleeping area, workbench, and other things to assist you. The sleeping area makes sure you have the space for rescuing additional survivors, while the workbench lets you repair and upgrade your weapons or other useful items to be more efficient in the field.
It’s a fun game and there is definitely a roguelike feel to it as well, especially if you up the difficulty. No matter the difficulty though Dread Nautical is a really good time. There’s a ton of stuff to explore all over the ship, so you’ll be plenty busy if you wander outside of the story. The only complaint is being forced to navigate the grid system with the joysticks. It’s the reason I generally avoid turn-based games on console because they don’t offer the same fluidity of using your mouse to whip around and navigate. However, that is something that can be easily overlooked for this title since the levels are a lot smaller than something like, say, X-COM 2.