Dredge – Review
Follow Genre: Fishing, Management, Horror
Developer: Black Salt Games
Publishers: Team17
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch
Tested On: PC

Dredge – Review

Site Score
Good: Great atmosphere
Bad: Not a lot of progression
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Fishing in games has become surprisingly popular lately, being featured in almost every title as a minigame. Although it is often regarded as a side pastime, the next logical progression would be to give it more of a focus to create a proper game based on it. Stuff like technical fishing sims are already a thing, but they only really cover a niche portion of the market. Dredge is a recent release that combines the recently popularized fishing with a staple of videogames: eldritch horrors and Lovecraftian inspiration.


In Dredge, players take over the role of a fisherman who just arrived in the town of Greater Marrow in order to take over as the local angler. Although the job starts normally enough, strange events soon occur, especially so at night, such as the appearance of ghost ships, sea monsters, and strange fish. Alongside these, messages in a bottle from a mysterious newlywed start appearing, recounting her story with the town and her disappeared late husband.

Throughout the game, players will have to uncover the story of the mysterious town while interacting with interesting and unique characters which have more to them than what you’d initially expect. Featuring a story told bit by bit, which meshes well with the overall atmosphere, Dredge succeeds at creating a successful hook (pun intended) alongside its gameplay.


The game’s graphics consist of the low-poly models often associated with games made in the Unity engine, which also rings true for this game. Focusing on soft pastel tones, Dredge offers a relaxing and somewhat cutesy ambiance during the day, which soon turns oppressive after nightfall once visibility is reduced. Alongside this, the game also features character portraits that appear during conversations, although these aren’t particularly expressive, serving instead as stand-ins for the characters.


Dredge’s sound design is also rather good, pitching into the atmosphere and further emphasizing its oppressiveness while remaining surprisingly relaxing. Similarly, the SFX are also rather good, although the lack of voice acting for the dialogues is a shame, especially since they’re not that plentiful. Other than that, the sound design doesn’t have much else to mention with it being serviceable and decent but not standing out much.


As previously mentioned, Dredge is a fishing and sailing game, where the core loop consists of sailing around the area while attempting to get a good haul. Said haul can later be sold at the fishmonger or traveling merchant to make some cash. Alongside this, bait and other items can be created with the fish, sometimes even being required to progress.

Once enough money and materials (purchased or fished) are acquired, players may then invest in upgrading their boat. The boat upgrades are relatively varied and include a better hull, engine, light, etc. These upgrades will allow the player to stay out at sea for longer, while being able to fish at new depths or waters to obtain different fish. Alongside the upgrades in the tree, players will also be able to outfit their boat with equipment that will affect the experience, improving the stats of the boat. However, these pieces of equipment will take up space in the cargo hold, affecting how much space players will have available.

The fishing itself is similar to that of other games like Stardew Valley, requiring the player to time button presses with a moving gauge or dodge obstacles for a certain time. That said, the minigames can be foregone, as the fish will be caught regardless with enough patience, although the interaction speeds the process up. Once the fish is caught, players will have to fit their haul into a grid a la RE4. Should the cargo be too full, players will need to dump something out, making returning to port very much a necessity.

Combined with the cargo, the sanity meter will also make players want to dock from time to time. The longer they stay out, the stranger everything will become. Ghost ships will appear, crows will steal the cargo, and rot will slowly infect the catch, lowering their value. This happens alongside the pre-existing strangeness of the game night, during which the rare, bicephalic, and bulbous creatures will appear.

Alongside this, players will also have a few abilities, such as speeding up their boat or, later on, teleporting. Without spoiling much, new abilities may be obtained by providing the town’s collector with found antiques, this being the main plot of the game. However, some of these abilities also have side effects that will affect the haul or boat, leaving their use up to player discretion.

The main issue worth noting with the game is the little progression it offers. Other than the handful of upgrades and powers, nothing else is really acquired. All of the mechanics remain the same late into the game, with only minor changes throughout. Once players max out their boat, the little challenge that existed previously also disappears, although this doesn’t really make the game worse.


Dredge is a unique experience that offers entertaining fishing and sailing mechanics which work rather fluidly. Both fans of the horror genre and more relaxing titles will find their thing here. Although the game’s mechanics are relatively simple, the game doesn’t overstay its welcome, capping out at around nine hours for the main story. Sold for €/$24,99/£21.99, the game is not the cheapest, but still worth its asking price.

Personal Opinion

“I really, REALLY, enjoyed Dredge. I’m a sucker for eldritch horror and the game was really chill despite the underlying themes. Being able to just fish while enjoying a podcast only to suddenly obtain a malformed monstrosity instead of a normal salmon is rather… unique. It meshes both vibes really well, offering a contrast that you don’t really find elsewhere. If you enjoy these kinds of games, Dredge is most definitely worth a shot, although it obviously isn’t filled with action, so anyone looking for that should go elsewhere. Besides this, I find it worth mentioning that the DLC the game came out with is not especially relevant to the experience. Although it adds a pair of items, one more useful than the other, these are not necessary to beat the game or enjoy it. Instead, it serves as an extra for the developers for those who appreciated the title.”

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Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Dredge - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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