Life seemed peaceful on the boards of Hope, drifting upon the currents of Atlantic Ocean, when some mysterious forces took over the ship, turning everyone into a hideous zombie-looking monster. Luckily, you are the only survivor? Or are you?
Dread Nautical has one of the most difficult gameplays amongst other similar titles of the time. The game throws challenges after challenges at you without giving you enough time to breathe. The first punch in the face comes from the action points. In a single turn, you will be awarded a maximum of four action points. The movement will consume only one of those action points, the real trouble pops up when you are about to shoot your weapon. The action points consumed by weapons depend on their power and size. You cannot pull an Arnold Schwarzenegger if you come across a more powerful weapon since you will be utilizing more action points for it. Soon you will realize that everything in the game comes at a cost, and you can never truly have an upper hand to the antagonists. Talking of inventory, it was expected that it would be limited, but what was not expected was that you will have to be extra careful regarding the items you decide to add to the inventory. If you add too many weapons, there won’t be a space left for the healing items and you will have yourself shredded to pieces the moment you enter into the battlefield. After a bad experience, you will decide to take only a handful of weapons with you, and then you will be smirking at yourself when you find yourself defenseless in front of the enemy. This time, you will take along the maximum number of weapons and healing material only to stand and drool over all the exciting stuff you could have picked up along the way if you had enough space in your inventory. Are these all with the difficulties the game will throw at you? Oh, the list has only begun. The weapons that you use will only have a limited juice in them, and then they will have to be repaired. You get to use the weapon 5-10 times before it is rendered useless, so plan your moves accordingly with what little the game provides you with. What else? Once an ally of yours dies and you don’t have enough space in your inventory to put in their supplies, the supplies will go to a waste. As a cherry on top of the cake, if you fall victim to the monsters, the game will take you the beginning of that day.
The game revolves around three resources: Scrap, runes, and food. As disregarding the name may sound, scrap is the most precious amongst all other resources. Scrap is used to increase the number of beds in the shelter to accommodate the ever-growing number of survivors you bring in every day. It is used to repair and upgrade the weapons. The station where you upgrade your skills is also crafted out of scrap. Coming on to runes, it upgrades your character’s skills. Food is something you cannot survive without. Food is very scarcely distributed throughout the game, and more the survivors you bring in, more food will they consume. Hence, proper management of the resources is necessary.
Even though the game is very challenging, there is not much depth to it. This is partly because of the poor graphics of the game. Nothing in the game seems presentable, and the objects look very boxy, if not pixelated. As far as the characters are concerned, where the entire focus of the developers should have been, they feel like an eleventh-hour addition. You will find the hands and other body parts extremely disproportionate to each other. This even takes away the fun in the cutscenes. There is not much of a structure or character to the figures, and these are the protagonists I am talking about. Don’t even get me started on the antagonists. The little bit of character that the protagonists have, that lacks in the monsters of the game. The game should have been named Ugly Nautical instead of Dread Nautical. There is no way you can keep an image of the enemy in your mind because of its highly disproportionate designs.
As far as the sound of the game is concerned, I gotta give it to the developers, they did a pretty good job with it. The background horror noises fit in well with the theme of the game. other than that, the sound of footsteps, accessing the inventory, and throwing blows to the enemies, they all seem pretty realistic.
Well, we have established that the cruise ship does not feel at home with the challenging gameplay and bizarre characters, the game is still fun. Even with such a simple gameplay, the developers have made those twenty levels really challenging for you. You have the resources to manage, moves to plan, survivors to recruit and a mystery to uncover. Hop aboard and help the ship crew find their way back to the safeties of land.