Developer- Picaresque Studio
Release Date- January 18, 2018
Price at time of Review: Steam 16.19
There is one job in this world that I would be complete garbage at, and that’s working on a boat. Constantly being on the sea and having to be in close quarters with people does not sound appealing to me. Also having to spread out your rations in order to make them last sounds miserable. Now throw in hunting whales and other animals that can murder you in a heartbeat, and you have my nightmare of a job. Living in the times of whale hunting seems like a miserable existence, and I was equally as miserable playing Nantucket.
Nantucket is a resource management, whale hunting, sea exploring game from Picaresque Studio. You play as Ishmael, the sole survivor of the sank ship Pequod, and his quest to track down Moby Dick. You travel the seas, building back up your crew and building your rank up, all while following in the footsteps of Captain Ahab. Being that this game is an RPG game, you can choose how you want to lead your crew, and how you want to go about exploring. Different events will occasionally pop up, such as chasing some possibly buried treasure, and you decide if it is worth the trouble or not. Essentially you are the captain, and everyone who is part of your crew is dependent on your decisions. Make the wrong one, and they will be making a death marker to inform others of your misfortune.
The visuals of the game are pretty good. The all hand drawn game doesn’t have anything spectacular to it, but everything has an old time feel to it. Everything on screen has a purpose, and the muted browns allow the player to immerse themselves in the world of whale hunting.
Nantucket is an RPG style game with turn-based combat. You start each journey by choosing your crew, your mission, and collecting enough supplies to last the trip. You have to take into account how long the trip can possibly be, and if you plan wrong, your crew will revolt. The different missions that I’ve encountered throughout my play were hunting down certain targets, checking out areas for whaling activity, and searching for lost ships. When you do come in contact with a whale or shark, the game turns into a turn-based combat game, with a dice roll mechanic.
With different hazards like lightning and stormy clouds blocking your view, the player will have to determine if sticking in the fight is worth it. Say one of your crewmen on the whaling boat dies, that crew member is dead forever. So, you have to keep that in mind when you take on stronger whales. The battle system is pretty confusing, but the more you fight, the more you will understand how the fight mechanics work. I’m still pretty bad at it and have only one a few fights against some younger whales. The one shark I ran into near Honolulu destroyed my entire crew.
The one thing this game does that is super helpful, is the autosave feature. The game is constantly autosaving, so if you are like me and end up murdering your whole crew, you can boot up a save and try again. One step that you may need to take is to stock up early on with a lot of supplies. You are anything like me; you will run out halfway after getting stuck in dead winds on the west coast of South America.
If you are into RPGs with a turn-based card fighting system, then this game is for you. With the beautiful music and gorgeous hand-drawn visuals, lovers of the genre will be entertained for hours. If you are like me and get bored easily, you may want to skip this one. Nantucket is a great game, but it isn’t for everyone. I give Nantucket 3 out of 5 stars.