Review: Shipwreck

Title: Shipwreck
Platform: PC / Xbox Live Indie Games
Release Date: 18th March 2014
Developer: Brushfire Games
Price: $3 (DRM-free for PC) / £1.99 (UK XBox Live Store)

True to all of the staples that preceding genre goliaths like A Link to the Past laid down before it, Shipwreck is a top-down adventure game that sees a protagonist sword-swish through several dungeons in order to save the day.

Developed by brothers Nick and Joe Gravelyn under the banner of Brushfire Games, Shipwreck is available for PC and on Xbox Live Indie Games.

The game opens on the survivor of a shipwreck, washed up onto the shore after encountering a savage storm. A quick trip through treacherous seaside caves finds the player in a village, where talk of a ghost inhabiting a nearby lighthouse is heard. Apparently, the spooky spectre is behind the recent storms – and only an adventurer with enough guts to collect all four of the island’s magical seals can face it. Cue the title sequence…

At any one time, the character has up to two items equipped assigned to two hot keys. This includes your weapons, shield and any other items that can assist you in your current environment. At times swapping between items can be a little cumbersome, especially in areas where one or two support items are essential, but this item micromanagement does add to the challenge and complexity of the game.

It’s been a while since I’ve played a good old fashioned RPG where entering people’s houses and taking any handy items that are lying around is the norm, but Shipwreck is so old school that not five minutes into the game and you’re pillaging some poor, unassuming villager’s knick-knacks.

The graphic style of the game is great, really capturing that SNES-style era of role playing games evocative of A Link to the Past or Earthbound. And the soundtrack by Dan Waters is amazing. With enough pan music to scare away an army of Guinea Creatures, and perhaps the only recorded instance in known history of a rockin’ xylophone breakdown, each piece is uniquely enjoyable.

Shipwreck really works as a retro adventure title, and is more than worth what you pay for it. Admittedly, there isn’t a great deal of content, but for a quick blast of Memory Lane fun, you can’t go wrong.

Check out the official site to buy the game DRM-free for PC:  http://brushfiregames.com/shipwreck/

Joe McGuinness

Joe is an eighties child raised on a strict diet of SNES and Game Boy titles. At level 14 he was fed a copy of Final Fantasy VII and evolved into a gaming glutton who to this day holds a tender place in his heart for classics and retro-style homages. When not glued to a Nintendo 3DS or an iOS device he can probably be found crying in front of a cancelled FOX TV show. 3DS Friend Code: 1564-2914-3215.

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