Sail Forth – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Sailing sim, Sandbox
Developer: Festive Vector
Publisher: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series
Tested On: PC

Sail Forth – Review

Site Score
Good: Good sailing mechanics
Bad: Empty world
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Sailing games are not the most frequent titles to find. Although they cover a unique niche, making it so that they have a clear hook is difficult. If the only thing the game has is uninterrupted sailing without an objective or variation, what might initially be cozy will soon turn into a boring ordeal. Sail Forth is a recent game with solid sailing mechanics, but what else does it offer?


The game’s story is rather simple. The ocean has been corrupted by a mysterious evil energy and the player will have to sail forth (*badum tsss*) to find a way to dispel it. Across several different zones, players will encounter clans of sailors and wacky inhabitants of the lands they visit, making some friends along the way.

While mostly simple, the story is surprisingly flawed for a simple reason: The main threat is non-existent. Despite being told several times about how the ocean is restless and corrupted, there’s nothing that shows this in the game. There are a handful of enemies with purple details, but other than that everything is sunny and idyllic sailing through cutesy landscapes. Combined with the fact that simple also equals basic in this case, the main plot hook is gone the moment the game starts, with sailing north being the only tip the game offers towards progress.


Sail Forth’s graphics are also relatively simple, consisting of low-poly 3D models and cutesy character designs. The environments mostly consist of many views of the ocean with isles, rocks, and ruins scattered throughout the areas. While there are several distinct zones, these are self-contained, with their defining features never really extending to the others, such as ruins only being in the ruin area and so on. Overall, Sail Forth is not really visually varied, with most locations looking pretty similar to each other and none being particularly memorable.


The game’s sound design is also relatively lackluster, without a soundtrack to really speak of. While songs do occasionally play, they only last for a short moment before the game turns them off in favor of environmental ocean sounds. Although these are well implemented and immersive, the lack of variation piles on with the previously mentioned repetitive environments.


Sail Forth’s gameplay is the star of the show, featuring strong sailing mechanics that carry most of the experience alongside the solid combat. These mechanics require the player to pay attention to the wind’s direction in order to efficiently move their sails around to make the most out of it. By correctly positioning their sails, they’ll be able to gain speed and maneuver more easily.

The game’s combat is also relatively easy to grasp, providing players with areas where they can point and click at the enemy in order to shoot at them. Although some kiting and aiming are required, it is not uncommon to simply start circling the enemy while bombarding them. That said, the combat does have a major flaw, that being that the aiming is done with the mouse, which is also used to move the camera. This makes shooting at enemies while moving around rather awkward, since there is no way to fix the camera or control it while attempting to shoot elsewhere.

Besides this, players are also able to outfit their vessel with a crew and weapons, with the amount of each based on the ship’s stats. Said crew is mostly a glorified buff system, with each member providing a slight bonus to a particular stat, such as repair time, damage, or boarding power. On the other hand, the weapons are more complex, having stats of their own such as range, angle, power, and more. In order to optimize their build, players will need to mix and match a variety of weapons until they find whatever works best for them.

Although a handful of weapons tend to be more efficient than others, there are none that are so much better to the point that anything else feels bad to use. Instead, players can also equip trinkets to match their build, like a spring to boost ballistae or more powerful ammo for cannons. Despite all of this, the trinket and weapon upgrade tree is not tremendously big, which means more often than not players will find the final version of their vessel halfway through the game.

In order to obtain more ships and grow their armada, players may buy new ones at shops or board enemy ships once the mechanic is unlocked. For the latter, the crews of the two ships will deck it out until one remains, meaning thinning out the enemy’s health before boarding is often recommendable. As the game progresses, boarding new, more powerful ships becomes almost a requirement. Although not game-breaking, it is very noticeable when a ship offers as much sailing speed with double the amount of weapons and crew.

That said, as much as an armada might be built (up to three ships that is), the ally AI is rather weak, with a tendency to leave their ships just drifting there instead of trying to interact in any way with the enemy. It is rather common to see an ally ship sitting near an island attempting to shoot a crab for 5 minutes, unable to aim higher in order to actually hit it.

Other than sailing and combat, the game also offers a few side distractions for players to engage with, such as shooting ranges, delivery missions, races, and fishing. Out of these, only the shooting ranges are somewhat more unique, with the others only really providing ship parts (the game’s currency), of which the players will have an overflow soon enough.


Sail Forth is a cozy sailing game that doesn’t really have enough variety to sustain its rather long runtime of almost 20 hours. Those looking for something to play in short bursts to wind down will be able to find it here, but those expecting something mechanically deep might end up disappointed. Sold for €19.50/$19.99/£16.75, the game is not excessively expensive, although waiting for a sale is not a bad idea.

Personal Opinion

“Look, Sail Forth is not bad, but it sure could be trimmed a bit. There is not much point in how padded its runtime is when most of what you’re doing is going across 5 islands, doing a pair of story objectives, and moving on. Sure, you can bother exploring, but the areas don’t really contain anything that different from one another other than the rare one with a shooting range. Something else I was pretty disappointed by was the lack of ship customization. Ok, I can change the color, but having played EVE Online for a good chunk of hours I expected to at least have some leeway in how I wanted to build my ship stat-wise. But nope, just the weapons and crew, and you get a single build, and be done with it. Anyways, the game is entertaining enough to play while doing something else on the side, but purely gameplay wise I think I’ll stick to EVE even if I have to use Excel sheets for that one.”

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No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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