King of Seas | Review | Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: 3DClouds
  • Publisher: Team17
  • Release Date: 25/05/2021
  • Price: £19.99 / $24.99
  • Review code provided by Team17

Introduction to the King of Seas Review

When it comes to games about pirates and living the life of a buccaneer I can only think of two examples, Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Apart from those two titles, no other pirate game came to the forefront of my mind that gave me any sort of enjoyment, not that the pirate video game genre is bursting to the brim with examples. So when King of Seas popped up on the Nintendo eShop I was rather intrigued to see what the landlubbers at 3DClouds had come up with. So let’s board our ship as we set sail on this review for King of Seas

Take to the Seven Seas

King of Seas has you take to the seven seas as a young heir to the throne. You find yourself shipwrecked and clinging to life like a barnacle to the bottom of a ship. It’s here that you’re saved by an unlikely group and given a fresh lease on life with a new ship and crew. Where you aim to reclaim what has been taken from you.

Exploring the World Before You

It’s a vast ocean and exploration is the key to King of Seas. You’ll scour the ocean in search of hidden islands, lighthouses and ports. Lighthouses are important as they house the cartographers who will update your map, for a fee of course. Discovering a new port opens up trade, recruitment, and side quest possibilities. Personally I found myself sinking most of my time into these side activities

Each port will buy and sell items for different prices, dependent on what they output. For example, if the port in question produces plenty of rum, they’ll buy it back in for a lower price. But if that same port doesn’t produce a lot of wood, than they will buy wood at a higher price than other ports. This was a nice little touch to keep the various islands in King of Seas feeling distinct from one another. The trading system isn’t deep, but it was a welcome edition nonetheless.

The Good Old Tavern

As well as trading in the market, you also have the local tavern. This is where you’ll be able to recruit more sailors for your voyage and pick up new side missions. These side missions would vary from simple go from A to B to deliver cargo, to defending a ship and engaging in open warfare. The side quests are where I found myself going down a rabbit hole. As I went for the old saying, “one more won’t hurt”. But the side missions weren’t a waste of time. By doing them, I was able to amass a small fortune as well as new parts for my ship. I felt that being awarded with parts drove the main premise of King of Seas. To become a force to be reckoned with.

Upgrade Your Ship or Replace It

These parts vary from cannons, to crew variations to entire deck pieces that will offer bonuses to your ship’s abilities. These bonuses could be offensive, defensive or some other bonus. Changing the parts as you get them could be the difference between succeeding or failing in a mission, so take the time to update your ship with the parts that you receive as you progress. Also, the components you don’t need can be sold for extra gold or stored in the bank for later use.

But you don’t need to keep patching up your starting boat. With some gold behind you, you could look to purchase a new ship. The question is which ship you should buy? Will you go for a small but fast vessel that is built to out run the Navy patrols? Or a heavyset battleship that is armed to the teeth with cannons and built to rip apart its foes? Or does something in-between strike your fancy? Bewtween the variety of ships you can purchase and the parts you earn to customise them, it won’t be long before your ships evolve into fierce vessels for the high seas.

Let’s Talk Combat

With a nice ship’s deck beneath your feet, and a full wind in your sails, you’ll want to keep an eye out for other ships with loaded cannons. The combat in King of Seas is very simple to get a handle on. The back buttons, ZL and ZR respectively, fire your ship’s cannons on the respective side. Simply line up your shot and send a barrage of cannonballs at your opponents.

Just be sure you don’t pick a fight with a ship that can out gun you. Make sure to take the time to figure out a strategy that takes into account the ship you are captaining at the time. Big ships tend to be more durable or have more cannons but, they aren’t particularly fast or agile, taking longer to get speed up or needing more space to turn. Smaller ships will balance this by being faster and have greater agility, but be less durable and carry fewer cannons. Enemies have different ship types as well so you might see yourself putting a little more thought into how you want to approach the next encounter.

Viewpoint and Navigation

Taking place in a procedurally generated world, King of Seas is locked to an isometric viewpoint. Though you can zoom in and out. For the most part, I found this view totally fine. However in some areas the landscape can obscure your view of the ship, which can make navigation tricky. Another niggle for navigation is not being able to put down way points to follow on screen, so I was constantly clicking the right analogue stick to check the map to make sure I hadn’t gone off course.

Final Thoughts

This King of Seas review was a real mixed bag for me. Whilst the trading and recruiting offers some different activities, more could have been done with those systems. But its the sailing of the oceans and the naval battles really allow the game to shine. Making King of Seas more of a diamond in the rough kind of game. If you focus solely on the combat and exploration, then King of Seas offers a fun pick-up-and-play pirate adventure that allows you to sail the seven seas from the comfort of your own home.

Pros

  • Vast world to explore
  • Interesting trade mechanics
  • Lots of ship and part combinations

Cons

  • Some game systems could have been more thought out
  • In-game camera can cause issues with navigating your ship at times.

Verdict

King of Seas will have you living the pirate life across the seven seas.

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