Do you remember the days from your childhood playing with those oversized (so you don’t break or choke on them) action figures meant for children who weren’t ready for REAL action figures yet? Do you remember going on long, drawn out adventures with them that weren’t too complex, but still, in your mind they were extremely poignant? Slaying mountains of villain action figures until you inevitably triumphed and obtained whatever mcguffin your quest was focused on? Well, that sorta kinda describes the experience of playing Lost Sea.
If I had to give you my absolute first impression of the game, it would be that Lost Sea seems so painfully, completely, Saturday morning angry birds, phone game pedestrian. So much so that I had a hard time forcing myself to care enough to get into it. If you can stick through it enough to see past the childish coat of paint, there is a semi competent action adventure game waiting for you there. However, if you are the kind of person that normally would be turned off by said “first impression” I’m not exactly sure the core of the game underneath that veneer is worth the effort it would take for you to find it.
Now, I’m not trying to say this game is bad, because it isn’t. It just seems rather uninspired. Lost Sea has a sort of “lowest common denominator” feeling to it. Nothing in this game seems to truly set itself apart from the trove of action adventure games that came before it. You get your trusty machete in the tutorial level, then proceed to slay mountains of action figure-ish villains on each different island as you search for the magical mystical tablet that will let your ship travel to a new island. Eventually you’ll get to boss-island, slay him, then travel to “new theme” world of islands and proceed to do the exact same thing you were doing before.
That’s the basic gist of the game. It is, though, an oversimplification, as Lost Sea DOES do a couple things to try and break that monotony. As you slay baddies and/or chop down bushes and crates, your character will gain experience and coins to spend back at your ship. You can use these points to buy new abilities for your character/ship. These are usually nothing too complex, like a health bar extension or another slot in your backpack…But its some sort of progression at least.
You will also run into other stranded survivors while exploring the islands whom you can recruit to be your followers. Each one has different abilities such as, unlock chests, repair bridges, dig up treasure, revive you when you die, boost your attack power, etc. Normally you can only have one with you at any time, but you can expand upon this too with level ups. This aspect makes you think about what skills you suppose will be more useful, because nothing sucks more than finding a chest and realizing your current follower cant pick locks or not being able to take a particular path because nobody can repair a bridge…
Survivors you say? Oh yeah, I suppose I should have elaborated on the “story” of the game. This completely slipped my mind because, really the game might as well not have a story. It’s…Pretty bland and equally as uninspired as the rest of the game to be honest. Your character (whom you get to pick from among many “lost islands” tropes such as grizzled sea captain, Amelia Earhart, etc.) crashes their plane on a deserted island in the (surprise surprise) Bermuda Triangle. You soon run into some eccentric ship captain, who happens to look like a magician(?) or something. He instructs you to find magical tablets on each island so you can pilot the ship to the next island, ever onward. You will slay wave after wave of Dodo birds, seed spitting piranha plants, angry cavemen, etc. until you find a tablet and slog it back to the ship. After a few islands of this routine it all just blends together.
The islands each have varying difficulty levels, and man let me tell you, this game can be hard when it wants to be. For what looks like such an unassuming and innocent game, it really can take some cheap shots at you. Your character doesn’t exactly have boatloads (pardon the pun?) of health, so a few discombobulated hits from an enemy and you’re in danger range. That’s when the game will start throwing at you the velociraptors hiding in crates, mermen pretending to be lost survivors, poison filled barrels…Just things that will lower your life even more and put you on edge. I mean, overall the game isn’t THAT hard, but don’t assume it will be a complete cake walk either, because it can have a bite in a few areas.
The music is nice, but its nothing you will remember for long. I think I would have preferred a more subdued and mysterious sort of soundtrack to, you know, go along with the whole “I’m trapped on a series of lost islands!” motif. I guess they wanted to keep the ambiance fitting with the loud cartoon-ish color schemes that permeate the islands. After all, you’re lost and being hounded by kooky Dodo birds and a salty, homicidal pirate lord thing but…OK fine, the game is pretty low stakes. I guess the music fits.
In the end I think the name of this game sort of predicts its own fate. Lost Sea seems to be destined to be lost among the sea of other titles that surround it in whatever eShop it finds itself in. Is this game bad? No, not really. It just isn’t very ambitious. If you like simplistic action adventure games like Skylanders and have some time to kill, you might find some enjoyment in this game, but it is in no way whatsoever a “must have” title.