Lost Sea (Nintendo Switch + PS4) Review

Lost Sea is a top-down action-adventure game with an emphasis on exploration as you venture through the perilous islands within the Bermuda Triangle. Lost Sea came out a while ago on PS4, PC and Xbox One and I’ve been playing it on my PS4 for about a year now. However, Eastasiasoft has recently ported it over to the Switch, along with a few new features, and were kind enough to provide us with a copy to review for them. As I don’t have a Switch, my friend Amy (who has her own Youtube Channel here) kindly agreed to take a look at it for me and offer her own perspective on how it plays on the Switch. 

I’ll come back at the end as well and offer my own opinion on Lost Sea based on the PS4 version. If you enjoy the review, don’t forget to share it and drop a comment down below. So, without further Adeu, here’s Amy’s review:

Dah dah dah dahhhh – you obtain the machete!

Upon starting up Lost Sea, my first opinion was that it was very cute and indie looking. The title and loading screen instantly caught my eye, with their visual aesthetic, and had me hooked from the very beginning! The game is very reminiscent of Rune Factory on the Nintendo DS and 3DS, or the original Zelda games, with it’s basic and easy controls. It’s a game which you can pick up and play whenever you wish to which also makes it very easy to get fully immersed within. As such, having this game ported over to the Nintendo Switch felt natural and a perfect fit for the game.

You start out by choosing the character you wish to be. Lost Sea has a good variety of your typical basic characters to chose from, characters such as a hermit, an aviator lady, or even a ship captain. Although the various characters look good, there is no benefit in choosing one over the other as the difference is purely cosmetic. I would have enjoyed it, seeing as there are no statistical differences between characters, if you could create your own character or at least customise them. Maybe in a future update?

You must find to key to unlock the door to find the tablet. All whilst fending off creatures and saving people!

Once you have decided on which character you want to be, you find yourself waking up on a beach with no recollection of what happened previously other than there was a nasty storm which brought down your plane. Upon discovering that you are stranded on this unknown island, you head out to investigate and explore your surroundings. Almost straight away, you’re united with a trusty machete and can go off and explore more of the island.

As you venture through the forests, you will face a number of different enemies from your basic dodos and frogs, to savages and dinosaurs. The game does come with a basic tutorial instructing you on what you need to do, but the developers don’t tell you everything. I like the developer’s approach here as Lost Sea treats you as though you have more than likely played a video game before and don’t need a full walkthrough on how basic controls work. 

The further you progress within Lost Sea, the harder the enemies become. This is always welcomed in these types of games as you don’t want it to begin hard or remain easy throughout. The enemies seem to scale up at around the same level you do as well. The overall ‘aim’ of Lost Sea is to collect all the tablets on each island and then place them onto a mystical pad near your ship, so you can venture to another island. Along the way, you will encounter other stranded islanders who have different, and useful, skills which can help your journey. Some of these skills are essential to progressing such as finding a carpenter who can build bridges to cross gaps, or you may find others with skills such as lock picking, extra XP and health, and more.

Things get a little easier with a pistol, but the game still has a steep difficulty curve.

There is a progression system within Lost Sea in the form of levelling up. The process is nice and simple and typical for this type of game – the more enemies you kill, the more points you get. Points which you can use to purchase upgrades, such as an extra backpack slot, more HP etc. Throughout the islands, there are crates and bushes simply littered around which will shower you with coins upon breaking them. The money you find can then be used to upgrade your ship with items such as telescopes, crow nests etc. These all help you out in later parts of Lost Sea as you approach the more difficult levels.

All in all, Lost Sea is very enjoyable to play and I would highly recommend it. It’s very easy to both just pick it up and play for a few minutes or sit in and binge on (this is what I did across two days and a long car journey). I personally think this game would be appropriate for all ages as I fully believe that a younger person could pick this game up and run with it. The game isn’t complicated and is very easy to just run around and explore as you attack anything that moves and pick up anything shiny! Alternatively, I’m not exactly a young child yet I also found it thoroughly enjoyable too.

One thing I would say though is that it can get a bit monotonous and tasks can become a little repetitive. However, even though I say this, I can honestly say I have spent numerous hours on this game to date and fully intend to continue playing it until I complete it.

The bosses and big guys are a pain to escape from/beat up!

Rob:
I think Amy summed up pretty much everything if I’m being honest, but there are a few things I would like to mention. As Amy said, you do have random stranded people who you come across on your journey, but some of these are more important than it first seems. What I love doing is getting my companion to be my little minion. Basically, when you find the golden tablet, to exit the level, you can get your companion to pick it up and carry it for you so that you have your hands-free to attack enemies. The companion management is a bit fiddly as you can only have one at a time at first and must upgrade this ability before you can house more. This means a lot of backtracking if you don’t have the ability and are required to unlock it at the ship before you can grab someone you meet on your journey. You also have to decide which companions you wish to take with you and who you don’t care about as you can’t retrieve someone once you leave the island. Similarly, if you don’t protect your companions and they get killed off then that’s it – they don’t respawn. They are dead. The same goes for you…

That’s right, Lost Sea is a Rogue-like. Upon death, you are given a full breakdown of your previous journey and then sent straight back to a new island – which becomes your first island in your new journey. As it’s a Rogue-like game, you take a fraction of the resources you picked up before you died, but you lose all of your skills you unlocked along the way.

Another thing which wasn’t touched upon was the bosses. So, you have your basic enemies as above, dodo’s and other strange creatures will attack you, yet you also have a few boss battles from powerful enemies who will stop at nothing as they try and stop you from getting the portal stone back to your ship. Oh, and the levels are procedurally generated – so no two playthroughs will be exactly the same. There are also various biomes which range from the lush jungle to the icy tundra, and then back to the arid desert. This, crossed with the randomness of the levels, really helps keep things fresh and new. Each biome also has its own set of unique creatures as well!

Even though the enemies are monsters in some instances, they are totes adorable!

Now for the differences. As far as I’m aware, the only difference between the new Switch version and the previous ones is that the Switch has had some graphical changes to the game so it is more suited for the handheld and docked mode of the console, and the Switch also has a new easier difficulty setting. Personally, I don’t get this new craze with giving the Switch version an ‘easier’ mode – Donkey Kong did it and a few other games – are Switch players known to have trouble when playing games as intended? Either way, the option is there if you pick it up on the Switch.

I also just wanted to briefly mention the graphics and the sound design. The graphics are so adorable – with their Borderlands-style thick black outlines on everything and comic book aesthetic. Yet, even though Lost Sea has adopted this style, it still manages to look bright, colourful, bold, and very pretty. The sound as well is spot on with this game – with the music sounding like it’s been ripped straight from Monkey Island. The tracks make use of a lot of bongos, string instruments and a harpsichord style instrument – when combined it has the ‘jungle’ feeling to it, a style you would usually expect when watching a film or TV show about being on a desert island.

Lost Sea is out now on PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Let us know if you picked it up and what you think. If you have any questions then pop them into the comments down below and we’ll do our best to answer them all.

Official Trailer:

A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Lost Sea

£8.99
8

Final Score

8.0/10

The Good:

  • Gorgeous graphics
  • Really fitting soundtrack which sounds great
  • Every playthrough is different with randomly generated islands
  • Companions/Crew Members who help you out
  • Easy to pick up and play for 20-30 mins at a time

The Bad:

  • Can get a little monotonous and repetitive
  • Unable to create your own character
  • Steep difficulty curve
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