Sea Legends is a fun strategy game released in 1996 that sees you conquer the Caribbean is a way that has brought comparisons to Sid Meier's Pirates! This games ups the ante from this classic which hit shelves five years earlier by improving the graphics and adding a very welcome and intriguing plot.
Like Pirates!, you're tasked with amassing a fortune by mastering trading and warfare. You can also hunt bounties or steal if you so choose. You can even capture entire colonies if you fleet is large enough. Like a lot of games of this kind, it dumps you in the deep end with next to no knowledge of how to proceed. The only thing you can do at this point is explore the town in which you are docked and very soon you'll learn about trading by paying attention to a very stat heavy screen.
There's a huge learning curve here, and this is perhaps the least exciting task you can do in the entire game. The towns are quite nice looking with each having its own look. You can explore them a little and speak to the citizens in a similar way to a point and click adventure.
Depending on how you're doing in the game the towns will react to your infamy or lack thereof. This, coupled with the story elements that may see you overturn a traitorous governor or rescue fair maidens makes it feel like a living, breathing world.
I won't be long until you come across your first sword fight, perhaps with some pirates. These section play a lot like its inspiration; you control your character's move set with the arrow keys in a fight that basically comes down to rock paper scissors. The animations here are pretty good for the time which does help you get immersed in the fight, but you can't help but feel that luck plays just an important part as skill.
The game truly shines in the naval warfare. These huge sea battles that can involve a several ships takes place on a 3D first person ocean. Not only do you have to take care in aiming and firing your cannonballs, but you have to navigate through the waters and issue commands to other ships in your fleet. It all gets very hectic with cannon balls whizzing past you and the tension is immense.
The cartoon style of the game may have aged somewhat, with later games improving on the formula further still, but there is a lot to recommend here. It may require a lot of patience to get to the meat of the game, but Sea Legends truly worthy of your time.
As of October 2nd, 2020 Sea Legends is now available to buy on Steam.
Sea Legends is © Mir Dialogue
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me