We set sail with the Ship of Fools for a roguelite, 2D animated adventure where you'll need to have your wits about you to protect the seas. Join us as we take the game for a quickie.
What is the gameplay like then?
Your “run”, to use the official term (as I understand it) is a journey which involved plotting a course across a hexagonal game board, where the impending darkness moves towards you every few turns from the far side.
In each tile you will encounter either a fight, a reward, both or sometimes nothing at all. There’s a random element, in that the board changes for each run, and when (not if) you are defeated you are washed back ashore to try again.
The game is a “roguelite”, rather than roguelike, so it is a little more approachable, and less punishing that the likes of Hades or Dead Cells, and the art style helps to make it feel friendlier, without being nightmare fuel like The Binding of Isaac.
Over time you will earn resources to upgrade your ship, improving the guns and hull integrity, gradually making better progress
Sounds quite tough...
As you might expect the co-op element helps considerably, if only because you aren’t the only person being targeted, but really it’s your ship you need to keep an eye on, since while you getting attacked will only slow you down, your ship getting beaten up will lead you to a watery end.
Fortunately there are reprieves in the form of not only special soups which you can have cooked up for you before you begin your expedition, but also resources which are dropped by enemies which you can harpoon onto the ship to collect. You have to be quick though, as there’s always a lot going on at once.
On top of that, you’ll find trinkets, artefacts and other items which give perks, like a chance to inflict flame damage, but be warned. You’ll lose these when your ship sinks, so enjoy them while you can.
Was there anything you weren’t a fan of?
I suppose in terms of the tone maybe from the name I was expecting more humour, or more out-and-out comedy? But really it doesn’t detract from the gameplay at all, and who knows what humorous delights lie in wait at journey’s end.
So, what do you think of the game?
I think Ship of Fools is extremely strong. The visual style is endearing immediately and its world is fun to explore. The controls are really approachable and easy to pick up and play, and the best way to do that is in co-op.
If you’re only going to play alone then it’s harder to recommend, but still worth trying out. Just know that it will feel even more frantic than when you have help.
Ship of Fools is a quality indie which does what it says on the tin and as long as you know what you’re getting yourself in for then it’s a really good time.
Verdict: Would recommend