Nantucket – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure RPG
Developer: Picaresque Studio
Publisher: Fish Eagle
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Nantucket – Review

Site Score
6.9
Good: Nice original setting and content
Bad: Little variation in content and events
User Score
7.0
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)

Ahoy Mateys! Deck scrubbers, land lubbers! It’s the golden age of hunting whales, it is. Aye, fat and oil are where the money is at. But beware ye of pirates! Not only them but mean-spirited foul sea creatures as well. Grab a crew and a ship strong enough. Make sure thy crew keeps thy respect and there be plenty of Grog on board to last many travels. After all, the sea is unforgiving.. 

nantucket feature img

Story

There once was a man from Nantucket. No really, it was you. You used to be in Captain Ahab’s crew, hunting Moby Dick. You believe to be cursed for your promise to hunt the mighty whale, and another time by Ahab for failing to die with the rest of the crew while doing so. Because you want to get your redemption and earn your place in heaven, you decide to give the big hunt another try. Your journey starts in Nantucket, where you try to find quests to earn money, gather a crew and a ship. During the gameplay that follows afterwards, you get some main story quests that follow up behind whatever is left of the people of your past, as well as some side quests that allow you to level up and increase your overall statistics that will give you a better chance of facing (and surviving) the upcoming dangers.

Nantucket 1

Graphics

Graphically the game has some promising parts. Everything is very coherent at least. Mostly, it has a lot of visual novel elements that get enhanced by the sound effects. Basically, most of the game exists of two ”playing fields”. One being the world map where you will sail your ship to hunting locations, quests, and harbors. During your travels, pop-ups will appear on the screen where you have to deal with situations involving resources or crew actions. The other playing field is every harbor your enter. Here you get the options to scroll through crew to hire, adaptions to your ship, news reports and crew members to hire, and resources to buy for your journey. Besides these elements, there is not much different graphically speaking. Every now and then there is a slightly different background or a battle screen, but that’s about it. Cinematic animations have enough effort put in to communicate what they want but are none too special. It all just adds up to a playable visual novel.

Nantucket 3

Sound

The sound effects are very immersing, and might even make up the best part of the game. The wind and water when sailing. The harbor sounds where people are drinking in the tavern. Not only do a lot of sounds feel at home in their placed environment, but they are surprising at times too. Surprises that the game lacks after a bit of gameplay, find their way into the sound. When traveling, and suddenly your crew starts singing a random sailor song, your face surely will be amused since, like all the sound, it’s done right.

Gameplay

So, Nantucket is a visual novel action adventure RPG. Well, mostly adventure and roleplaying. Like said earlier, it mostly has two playing fields. The part where you sail and events get triggered, and the part where you stock up and repair stuff in harbors. While sailing you have the options to freely explore the world, but mostly you will follow side- or main quests that you actually want to spend your resources on. Resources are water and food, grog to keep up morale, wood for repairs. Stocking up on too much of these will give events such as drunk crew members, picky eaters or water possibly going rancid. After a bit of playtime, however, you will start to repeatedly see the same events appearing over and over, while the travels go rather slow. This makes everything a bit sluggish at times, eventually mainly grinding hunts for profitable resources to upgrade your ship and being able to continue your main quest1line.

Nantucket 2

When hunting fish, the whaleboat gets lowered. You got a couple of different stats influencing hunts or fights. At the start of your turn, basically, the mechanics consists of each crew member rolling a 6-sided dice. For hunters, 3 out of 6 planes will give you a hit, the other 3 will do nothing. As your character and crew progress, empty planes can be filled with special attack or abilities, allowing you to survive more and harder fights. These abilities and stats also influence your adventure on the World Map. Place a sailor instead of a hunter at the helm for optimal results. Train craftsmen and medics as support in fights and to gain additional bonuses on your travels.

It’s an interesting, rather non-traditional approach to turn-based combat. However, while being boarded by pirates, for example, the game feels way more traditional in a good way since every crew has an action to spend after rolling their dice, while on the whale hunting boat you can only use one action out of all crewmembers each turn, also making the gameplay a bit sluggish at times.

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Conclusion

In the end, Nantucket is a nice little challenge on its own for the developers as well as the players. It’s a project that mainly gets held back by its limited options and gameplay, while the set-up has great potential. Comparing it to games such as Faster Than Light, which has similar gameplay, it simply has fewer options and less punishing, interesting choices when encountering events. This removes part of the excitement while playing, giving players more of a struggle to keep on playing.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Nantucket - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Pim Hoogeveen
Pim Hoogeveen


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