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  1. I mentioned this on the "What are you playing" thread, but I think it deserves its own space. I've been playing this with every free moment I can grab since Saturday (when it came off Early Access), and it is really cool. Plus, it's right up the alley of folks who enjoy exploration, moody atmosphere, and weird/interesting writing in games (which, I've gathered, tend to be shared interests of many folks here). I've seen it described as a Roguelike. It really isn't, in my estimation. Sure, it defaults to permadeath-on, and large parts of the map re-shuffle with each new game, but so far it seems to lack the swingy "Haha, UR DED despite doing nothing particularly wrong" element that defines the Roguelike experience to me. Beyond the first few "figuring stuff out" hours, when you die in this game, it's probably because you attempted something stupidly risky-- tried to attack a large and unfamiliar zee creature; set out for a distant location with insufficient fuel/supplies; picked a chancy dialogue option while in a vulnerable situation; double-crossed some smugglers/Mongols/devils; etc. I'd call it an exploration game with light RPG, action, and trading elements and very heavy narrative elements, in a Victorian Lovecraftian nautical setting. The narrative elements take the form of stories associated with different ports, with officers on your ship, with quest-givers, etc., that you uncover as you explore and complete objectives. And it is written in lovely understated prose, letting the reader's imagination finish painting the picture of all the very weird characters and locations you run into. It's not for everybody, in that you do a lot of reading, and the sailing about goes rather slowly. I find the slow revelation compelling when pushing into the unknown, but if you're shuttling back and forth between London and other ports you've already uncovered, it can get a bit tedious. The ship-upgrading could use more serious design attention. The trading aspect is rather under-developed-- this isn't a game where comparing commodity prices and figuring out trade routes is a significant part of what you're doing. There are only a couple reliable money-making activities right now, apart from completing quests, and repeating those can get dull. So, anybody else been zailing through the 'Neath lately? Any favorite stories you've found that others should seek out? Visage and Nuncio have been my favorite ports-of-call so far.
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