Developer: Ultimate Games
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Genre: Strategy, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 05/11/2019
Price: £11.69 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Ships is a boat-like simulator that allows you to control 3 different vessels in a series of tutorial missions as well as rescue, assembly and transport missions. Furthermore, it will have you participating in side missions were you will need to extinguish fires and repel pirate attacks from a top-down perspective, as well as redirecting crew-mates to different tasks around your ship in a variety of different situations. You’ll earn money through these missions which will allow you to fix or repair your ships and purchase new ones.
What is incredibly odd in Ships is the lack of any real ships. Thinking the clue was in the name, I expected to see cruise-ships, tankers and even passenger ships present in the game. Sadly, all of the above are absent here. The only ships available are: the World ship which is apparently the biggest ship in the game which can carry hundreds of containers, and most of its missions involve transporting cargo to different ports through rough seas.
The second ship is the DCV Builder that is a special vessel that can execute deepwater operations and fix rigs that are in need of repair. The third ship is the Orange Ship which is designed to transport drilling rigs on its deck. Each ship has its own missions and owns unique mechanics apparently.
I played through all of the World Ship tutorial missions and these ranged from simply transporting containers to different ports as well as learning the basics of how to operate cranes by using your u-boat to tow your ship out of certain ports.
Upon purchasing a new ship with money you’ve earned from previous missions, you are able to fix your new ship up. Again, this sounds like a unique mechanic which is sadly never expanded upon and falls short due to the lack of challenge involved. Apart from tapping all parts until they are green, there is little else required to fix your ship. It’s bland, boring and feels like something you would do on a free mobile game on the Playstore.
You can do some extra missions that will involve you viewing the game from a bird’s eye view. During these missions, you will need to direct your crew to certain areas, picking up fire extinguishers or manning the water guns on the side of your ship to repel pirates.
It sounds interesting at first, but the execution is clunky and bland. I thought these sections were going to be in a 3D first-person viewpoint which would have made these gameplay sections a little more varied. I was left disappointed when I found out that these sections were flat objects moving around on a flat picture of your ship. It all felt cheap, not very fun or exciting to play at all – a missed opportunity really.
Ships is a real slow burn made even slower due to the size of your ships. There is a speed ability allowing you to increase speed by 4X, however, even though it quickens the pace a little, it is still a slow game. After playing the first lot of tutorial missions I realised I would have to play the tutorial missions for the other ships. I was hopeful of getting into the real meat of the game which, as anyone who buys it will find out, never materialised.
I had my fingers crossed as I’ve been enjoying playing some of the recent simulator games of late and even though the game was incredibly slow, I was hopeful that the game would add in more variety as I progressed.
Now, after completing the first lot of missions, I got to try the second ship which focused more on fixing other vessels using cranes. I was looking forward to what was next however this is where my experience ended. Ships has a glaring issue that has ended my review before it has even begun.
After starting the first new mission in the DCV Builder I was asked to repair a rig by attaching steel frames to its hull, before re-attaching the helicopter pad. I did this, then the mission objective stated that I had completed the 3 main objectives. However, the game from this point didn’t clear the mission or tell me what I needed to do next. I first thought I did something wrong, so I retried the mission only for the same results to occur. The game wouldn’t complete my mission even though I had completed all 3 objectives… instead, I was stuck in limbo unable to continue.
I’ve since tried a number of times with the same result and have been unable to continue. I emailed the developers two weeks ago to support their game and its development by letting them know of the problem, however, I have heard nothing from them. My concern is that this game costs £11.69 and doesn’t work properly after a certain point.
At the time of writing, I’d recommend you not to pick up Ships on Nintendo Switch until developers fix this issue.
If I could have got past this part, I truly believe there were going to be some unique missions and exciting experiences to be found. The graphics are actually quite nice – especially the water effects, weather, and wildlife. The controls were decent too. The main core of the experience wasn’t bad and I did enjoy the first few missions, but it was cut short due to a technical fault. This is something I am particularly surprised about as it wasn’t picked up by testers, and this issue is practically at the beginning of the game.
I would recommend you stay far away from this shipwreck.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase this game from the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Ships-1667602.html#gameDetails