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Sail Forth Review (Switch eShop)

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Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

Straighten the sail and hoist the anchor. set sail Booted without warning on Switch. This relaxing, slow-paced exploration game drops players into a sea full of strange locals and strange characters. Those looking for realism in their sailing games will find better options, but Sail Forth has a charm that draws you in from the opening.

Sail Forth begins with Captain Toot waking up in a wrecked boat, with words of fate being told by a bright light in the sky. Soon, they set off across the ocean, recruiting new sailors to their cause, and eventually building a fleet under their command. Nonetheless, that concept is quickly discarded in favor of what is the focus of the game.

All the while using Sail Forth, a basic procedurally generated No Man’s Sky and to that Wind Waker-eque cel shading aesthetics. There are plenty of pirates to fight wherever you go, but the bulk of the game is spent wandering the seas, moving from one biome to the next, finding the darkness Talking Star mentioned in the opening. will slowly open up to you, giving you more opportunities to fight and fulfill requests from strange people living on randomly generated islands you find.

Sail Forth Review - Screenshots 2/5
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

Deep Blue’s map opens slowly, requiring you to discover areas before you can fast travel. Sometimes a character will tell you about a landmark, which will be marked on the map, but often during your exploration you’ll discover map fragments that will lead you to the next important point in your journey. It’s a bit disappointing that outside of the marked regions the world feels so barren and empty that you have no choice but to travel between them at high speed. , felt the game couldn’t handle the load of a true open world.

Movement requires paying attention to the direction of the wind and partially guiding the road. It’s technically possible to try to sail against the wind, but it’s frustratingly slow.This is a feature, not a bug in the game.As the title says, sailing is what you’re getting into here, and despite the stylized visuals, Sail Forth’s boats are more realistic than many other games you’ll steer. Trying to sail with the shortest-path mentality not only slows you down, but it also makes you miss key moments in the game. When faced with a strong headwind, your best option is to straighten your sails, change course, and see what next surprise the ocean awaits you.

Sail Forth Review - Screenshots 3/5
Capturing with Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Speaking of bugs, Sail Forth is not without its problems. Most are relatively minor, such as framerate stutters and ships spawning in mid-air when navigating to new sections of the map. has occurred. It is usually the most inconvenient moment. This is rare, but frustrating to be suddenly taken out of a relaxing exploration.

Although not the focus of the game, there are moments in Sail Forth that require combat. Pirates of the Skull Clan and the inevitable sea monsters are obstacles that sometimes appear as you study the nature of the strange deadlocks that seem to corrupt the sea. There are multiple weapon loadouts to choose from, some with improved range and firepower. Most battles are slow-paced, requiring you to get your ship in the right position before you can unload the enemy.

Each ship you add to your fleet has different maneuverability and weapon placement, so you have multiple options for how to combat these enemies. Some face forward while others are on the side of the ship, allowing for a more traditional ship-to-ship combat experience. Beyond cosmetic choices like sail colors and emblems, this is the primary way to customize your fleet. It’s not incredibly deep, but it adds the wrinkles needed to keep Sail Forth from feeling monotonous.

Sail Forth Review - Screenshots 4/5
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

As you explore the ocean, you’ll come across a colorful cast of characters. Some suggest joining the crew, which gives bonuses to the ship’s repair time, attack speed, sailing speed, and other stats. Many will give you tasks like delivering snacks to a struggling chef or handing a stranger a box full of angry bees. It was a clothed nudibranch and served up all the stereotypes of used car salesmen trying to transfer their goods to us, but there are plenty of interesting characters that pop up as we sail the Deep Blue.

Art design is playful. It’s clearly inspired by games like The Legend of Zelda’s Cell Shading Lines. The character designs don’t really stand out, but they help set the tone and serve as an effective reminder that this game is meant to be approached with a lighthearted mindset.

That playfulness extends to crew members who pop up to warn of approaching ships and other potential dangers. A lot of their conversations consist of someone putting vague nautical terms into a random generator, hitting play, and generating a ton of sentences that don’t make perfect sense but still get their point across and add a sense of whimsy. sounds like it does. These are the highlights of Sail Forth.

Sail Forth Review - Screenshots 5/5
Capturing (docking) with Nintendo Switch

It’s not perfectly put together, and the playful nature of the graphics may not be to everyone’s taste, but Sail Forth is more for it than against it. Cel-shaded visuals lend a lot of charm to a simple but fun adventure of exploration and discovery. Music and ambient sounds draw you into the world, but technical shortcomings slightly undermine their effectiveness.


Sail Forth isn’t the best open-world game for Switch, but it takes the procedurally generated formula presented in No Man’s Sky and gives it a more intimate (and nautical) feel. The visuals are relaxing and effective, with a lot of charm in the way just about every character is presented. Despite some distracting bugs, sailing is surprisingly fun, and the fleet-building mechanics are deep enough without being overwhelming. A good way to relax if you enjoy riding in the wind.

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