Lost Sea is a charming little Indie game for Steam, PS4 and Xbox One created by East Asia Soft. You select one of 8 different intrepid adventurers and start off stranded (of course) on a deserted (or is it?) island with little more than a machete (yeah!!!), a Hawaiian shirt, a wide brimmed hat and a thirst for adventure.
It turns out your plane has gone down in a vicious storm and you've been swallowed up by the Bermuda Triangle. You'll assemble a team of crew members each with different skills as you travel from island to island trying to gather more ancient tablets that will eventually become the map you need to get home.
The islands vary by difficulty with the final island hosting a boss. You'll need to access the player and ship upgrades available to you from the "strange man" who follows you from island to island. These might be speed or combat upgrades, or the automatic reveal of treasure or tablets.
Leaders aren't born, they are purchased in the shoppe
One of the most useful upgrades to get is the leadership player upgrade, it allows you to expand your crew from the starting number of one, up to 4 crew. You encounter crew hidden within the various islands and each one brings different skills to the team. Some crew members are locksmiths and can open treasure chests, some are carpenters and can repair bridges, others are basically D&D style clerics and can raise a player from the dead!
It looks as good as Mary Ann or Ginger, depending on preference
Graphically, the game is well presented and polished. Lost Sea uses an isometric viewpoint to excellent effect which lends itself to the feeling of exploration, you uncover more and more of the map as you meander over docks, bridges, sand and stone, not really knowing what is around the next corner.
The islands you explore are home to a plethora of cute but lethal monsters each with different attack characteristics, and it will take you a while to nut out their attack patterns.
Sonically, it's a gem. The music is brilliant and atmospheric and changes from island to island. The sound effects are suitably arcadey from the digitised player grunts during combat to the compliant "OK!" from a crew member that's just been ordered to unlock a chest. The monsters sound great too.
All in all, Lost Sea is a great game. The developers have cleverly coded the game to be randomly generated meaning no two games are exactly the same which really adds to the replayability.
Even though it's roguelike in that you can only die once, I feel Lost Sea will probably resonate the most with kids and that is a good thing. Watching my kids use their grey matter to try and get up onto a ledge to acquire another tablet or piece of treasure was great.
In this day and age where it feels like every kids' game is basically superficial trash full of in-app purchases it's nice to see a developer put together something as polished as Lost Sea. It oozes fun factor and I think the best compliment I could give it is finally there is something to get the kids off Minecraft for once!
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