Aug 19, 2017 Last Updated 4:27 PM, Aug 19, 2017

Ships 2017 Review

Published in Strategy
Read 1111 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Tagged under

I Love a Good Job Simulator as Much as the Next Unemployed Gamer, But...

Virtual jobs have always had an inexplicable pull for me. I loved the Mechanic Simulator series, also published by PlayWay S.A., so I was pretty stoked when I saw there was going to be a ship simulator. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I had in mind. I'd have loved to see some cockpit views and a first-person mission or two, but alas that was not to be. What it is, however, is sort of like several games in one.

You start out with some money and a ship in dry dock, in need of repair. After repairing your ship, you are given the first of various missions intended to give a glimpse of what civilian ship-life is like on the high seas in 2017. This one involves the crane game, which is simply loading cargo containers onto the ship for the next mission. The controls are deliberately not intuitive, in order to make loading the ship more challenging. Also, there is a lot of clicking and holding “to lock/unlock each corner of a cargo container”. Now I suppose it wouldn't be a job simulator if it wasn't appropriately tedious, so I'll forgive the necessity of clicking and holding to lock/unlock each corner of a cargo container. After all, I'm not getting paid to not click and hold to lock/unlock each corner of a cargo container.

Graphically, Ships 2017 is not bad. The graphics engine is very advanced, but I feel like the game doesn't take full advantage of it. I can use it to bring my computer to it's knees, but even when I do so, the game still lacks polish and shading. However, this is a reasonably price indie game, so I suppose that is to be expected.

The funky music is very enjoyable and the sea sound effects are great. I can almost smell the rotten fish and fresh diesel. Nice work there.

The tutorial is a bit ambiguous. It doesn't tell you the difference between regenerate and repair. If you select regenerate, it seems to break the tutorial. I'd start over again to make sure, but I don't want to play “click and hold to lock/unlock each corner of a cargo container”, any more, and there doesn't appear to be a way to create a second account. Also, the tutorial seems to dominate the game. Every mission I've done comes with a tutorial, and to boot, you must complete each mission in order before another mission is given, making the game play like ten different linear how-to simulators.

“Spoiler” alert.

Below is a picture of the tugboat mission. At the end of the gray line is a giant ship you occasionally see the bow of. Occasionally. You can zoom in from here, but not out. So you are expected to basically run blind, completely unlike a tugboat pilot. Is this a bug? I hope their idea of making a mission challenging isn't the equivalent of putting blinders on the player. It seems to me that if you wanted to make it challenging and accurate by blinding the player, you could at least do it by requiring players to pilot from a first-person bridge view. Anyway, after a few bumps and bruises, I was finally able to slowly grope my way outside the port.

I was not, however, able to “Park tug in specified zone.” because I could not determine where the zone was. Obviously this is a bug. One that stops me from completing this mission.

I posted my grievance via the Steam forum and the first patch is in, but still no fix for this issue. At least they haven't abandoned the game, and one of the developers assures me this fix is slated. Hopefully the fix will involve allowing the player to zoom out, and not just adding another yellow arrow to direct the tug to it's parking space.

After completing the previous missions I fortunately managed to make enough money to purchase the next ship, so lets see what that the DCV Builder can do. The first mission went smoothly, but I got hung up on the second mission, attempting to connect my crane hook to a wind mill blade. I managed to attach, but was unable to click and hold to lock/unlock each corner as two of the corners were not visible on screen. I had to restart the mission and make sure I avoided this by being properly zoomed out before getting close enough to activate the locks. In spite of all my efforts, after attaching to the windmill blade, there is no indication of where to put it. Just as with the tug mission, the “specified area” is nowhere to be seen. More shoddy game development, I'm afraid. :((

I wanted to try “Orange Ship” but I just can't bring myself to risk another head injury.

2

The Verdict

You can find the Steam reviews here. They are “mixed” at 40% positive out of ten. Not a good sign. To be honest, I'm not sure how they got that high. This game is incomplete at best, and with “challenges” like, occluding the player's view, comes off as a bit lazy. I can see some work went into it, and I appreciate how hard it is to make a game, but I still feel it's unacceptable to take folk's money under circumstances like this. If they fix the game so it can be completed, I'll consider revising my review, but as it stands I feel compelled to give it a three. The idea is sound, but the execution is still a bit lacking.

Kevin Riggs

Kevin Riggs is an analytical writer, dedicated to disc golf, cooking, and promoting science and critical thinking. But he also has a dark secret. At night, or whenever it's dark enough for dark secrets, he plays the shit out of video games on Steam under the dark, dark, pseudonym of, “Lazyface”. Kevin played his first video game at a Shakey's Pizza, back in 1977, when they cost two-bits each, and stood a good 5-8 feet taller than they do nowadays. It was called “Space Invaders”. Quaint, eh? He even remembers when pong still seemed like a pretty cool idea.

Related items

  • Football Manager 2018 Release Date Announced

    The first details of new features and updates in Football Manager 2018 will be revealed in late September through the Football Manager website and through the official FM social media channels (including Twitter and Facebook).

  • The Golf Club 2 Review

    The expertise of HB Studios in sports titles shines through in the overall experience and swing mechanics of The Golf Club 2. However, that experience, along with the high-quality graphics of each hole and the smooth animations of the character get washed out by poor modeling of the on-course spectators, bland water rendering, and lower-quality background textures, even on ultra settings. Once you take the time to get a solid handle on the controls, the course creator gives you endless possibilities for gamers passionate about golf. Though, with only slightly updated graphics and the inclusion of the swing temp mechanic, is it worth the upgrade from the original The Golf Club title?

  • Aven Colony Review

    Aven Colony is a planetary colonization, city-building simulator that salutes the memes of classic sci-fi while making a memorable impression all its own. The objective-driven campaign mode introduces mechanics and controls on a smooth difficulty curve which you can manage organically by how fast you expand your city and how rigorously you prepare for threats. While at times shallowly implemented, the trade, production, and expedition systems offer a variety of options for you to complete your goals. Simulation noobs will find this release easy to pick up, but only veterans can appreciate all the small details that went into Aven Colony's design.

Latest Shows

Empathy: Path of…

Empathy: Path of Whispers is an atmospheric and story-driven adventure game where you explore a seemingly abandoned world through the emotions and memories of the people who once i...

Black the Fall I…

After decades of toil, an old machinist plots his escape from Communism, through manipulation and scheming. Along the road, he befriends the most unlikely creature, an abandoned ro...

Out Soon

PC Gaming Incoming

Total War: WARHA…

Sequel to the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER, Total War: WARHAMMER II introduces a breathtaking ...

The Inner World …

The flute nose dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries on end. In secret, they fill the...

The Long Dark Re…

The Long Dark is imperfect, but it could be one of the best experiences in the survival genre. For the impatient, single-player gamer, The Long Dark holds little promise. However, ...

Pyre Review

Gamers will talk about Pyre for a good while. Vivid visuals pair well with energizing audio, and both complement the subtle, mechanical gameplay; Pyre, a stunning package,provides ...

Total War: WARHA…

Yet another in an already long line of excellent pieces of DLC for what has shaped up to be a living classic in the realm of PC games. If you like the game, you'll almost definitel...

Strategy & T…

Strategy and Tactics: Dark Ages by Herosoft is the latest iteration of a risk-style board game that is enhanced by persistent upgrades to generals and leaders and a large variety o...