Review by Jack Bankhead
Game provided by publisher
The Bermuda Triangle fascinates many. Where have all the disappearing ships, planes, and people gone? Lost Sea takes it to a different level. Instead of taking place on our Earth, the Bermuda Triangle is a separate dimension, a special roguelite dimension with islands that change up and are hard to get its treasures without dying. Lost Sea is definitely an interesting game, taking classic top-down Zelda gameplay, mixed with the randomization and difficulty of a roguelite. While not mixed together to perfection, what it does is done well, and is worth $10 for sure. Its art style, engaging, but imperfect gameplay, and replayability make Lost Sea worth your time.
You start out by choosing a character. There’s plenty to choose from, with a lot of visual variety. After that, you are thrown into a meager plot, but plot isn’t always important. The premise of the game is introduced here: after exploring an island, fighting enemies and solving puzzles, you get a piece of treasure you then have to take back to your base. This isn’t as easy as you’d think.
Lost Sea is part permadeath roguelite at its core. As you explore each island, it generates as you go along exploring. You’ll never have the same experience, making it that much harder to complete a level. If you die, you restart with a different character, but with improved abilities and second chances. It keeps the player engaged, which is always a good thing. On top of the permadeath roguelite nature of Lost Sea, the game plays like a top-down Zelda game.
It’s like Zelda, and I’m being honest. You explore the islands, defeat enemies in real time, and solve puzzles. These puzzles aren’t too hard, as it is randomly generated. It still gives off Zelda vibes. Zelda is a tried and true formula, so why not apply it to a roguelite?
The graphics are incredibly pleasing. They’re cel-shaded, giving it a cartoon, animated look while making the graphics look nice. I like the graphics, they are nice on the eyes and look like a ton of effort was put into that exact thing- looking nice.
Your character has health and energy. (represented by water) When your character runs out of health, he dies. Simple as that. With your energy, you can run, roll, and use certain weapons and objects. You can upgrade the health and energy bars for surviving longer and using more abilities and items. With the currency you get from defeating enemies, there are upgrades available such as running, dodge rolling, and more. All of the provided resources will make treasure collecting easier.
You can recruit a crew, starting with one. This will let you solve puzzles, gain an edge in battle, or get new treasures. The more you upgrade, the more crew you can get, capping at 3 on top of your character. It takes a while to do that, but it’s part of the roguelite grind.
I encountered some bugs occasionally. Sometimes, my crew would randomly stop following me. The framerate in handheld mode is a little choppy, but in docked its fine. Overall, Lost Sea performs well on the Switch.
Lost Sea is a great buy for you if you like roguelites, a challenge, or are a die hard fan of top-down Zelda games. It’s a great value at $10, and still is if it’s higher. (after publishing this review) You may find yourself playing Lost Sea a fair amount more than you thought, and that’s because of the engaging gameplay. While it isn’t executed perfectly, there’s a lot going for Lost Sea. You probably will enjoy it.
Reviewed on the Nintendo Switch, provided by eastasiasoft