Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review - Winds of Trade

Winds of Trade is a trade management simulation game developed and published by Hermes Interactive. It released on Steam February 13, 2017 and uses the Unity 5 engine.

I came across Winds of Trade when I was looking through the "Upcoming" filter on Steam. I normally like these kinds of games where the goal is to beat your opponents by economic dominance instead of military dominance.

Winds of Trade takes place during the 18th century and you start the game off by selecting a name and color for your company. After which, you pick your first boat and then begin the game. From here you must buy low and sell high. So, you familiar your self with the many goods in the game and which cities need what. As you travel the seas and discover new cities you can then buy a Trading Office and begin trading with that new city. Once you get the hang of things you can quickly exploit the buying goods at a low price and selling high.

It sounds very simple, which it is, but there are a few things that get in the way. Pirates for one thing try to steal your goods while you are at sea traveling from one port to another. Also countries can go to war with each other, which can effect the prices of goods. So keeping an eye on the Goods Sheet is always a good idea. Figure out which cities at that point sell something low and which cities will pay top dollar for that item. While at port you can hire captains for your ship, different types of captains can have different affects on your ship. Example, a gunner can increase your effectiveness with canons, which can be handy when fighting Pirates.

The game-play can get repetitive, but there are some other things to do. You can try and build your own farms and production so you can make and sell goods your self. Though, I never figured out how to get this to work. The game always tells me I don't have enough reputation with a country, but never how to increase that reputation. Speaking of the tutorial, it is lacking in Winds of Trade. The one tutorial in the game goes over the very very basics and nothing else. Leaving you to figure out the rest.

The other things you can do besides buying and selling goods are smuggling illegal goods into a port. Taking on contracts which are requests from people or businesses for goods or travel of personnel. And even buying and selling stocks in companies. You can even buy and sell ships if you so desire. Of course expanding your fleet is a good thing, but can get overwhelming with keeping track of them. You can setup a Automate system for the ships, but the prices of goods change so quickly it is best to manually pick and choose where each ship goes.

Speaking of ships, there are many in this game. They are pretty much broken down into three groups, Fast, Mid-Rang, and Heavy. Fast of course are quick ships but carry far less goods. Heavy ships can carry a lot of goods but at the cost of speed and canons. And the Mid-Rang is in between the Fast and Heavy ships providing good speed and storage as well as decent amount of canons.

Don't expect Winds of Trade to look amazing but for what the graphics are they get the job done. It is not an eye sore, but it isn't that special either. As well as the sound, the sound effects work and provide enough to what is going on in the game but nothing grand and epic either. For a budget title, they do their job and nothing much else.


Winds of Trade can be fun if you are into the financial simulation management games. The trading system works and does its job to keep you on your toes. I only wish the tutorial provided more then just the basics, because some of the things in the game are not explained all that well. But overall this isn't that bad of a trading simulation game for $15, though it wouldn't hurt to pick it up when or if it goes on sale at some point.

Final Score: 3/5 - Good Game

Monday, February 13, 2017

Darkest Dungeon - Games Worth Playing Under $30

Darkest Dungeon is a side-scrolling turn-based RPG developed by Red Hook Studios. Recruit, train, and lead heroes into the depths of the Darkest Dungeon. Your heroes will face unimaginable horrors, which will cause physical and psychological stress on them. Can you survive the Darkest Dungeon?

At first I really enjoyed this game. The voice actor alone with the amazing writing is enough to play this game. How he delivers the lines is awesome. The narrator is the only voice in this game. He explains the story along with the horrors of the action as you play through the dungeons. I could listen to this guy talk all day long and fits the mood of the game. But the grind and the RNG can turn this game into a unsatisfying adventure. You can spend hours building up your perfect team of heroes, only for some RNG dice roll to ruin your day and wipe them all out. Boy, this game is hard as shit. It can take about 80+ hours to beat it, but those 80+ hours will be spent grinding through the same areas over and over till you finally beat the odds and win.

What makes this game worth playing for under $30 is the fact that it is fun and interesting. You have to manage your team of heroes through each dungeon so they can gain more power to defeat the final level. But along the way your heroes will get diseased and stressed out. So you have to use the facilities at town to relieve-stress and cure them of their illnesses. The endless supply of heroes is crazy, but since death is permanent you will need them. Like I said above, the RNG in this game is brutal. You could be doing great in a dungeon, then the RNG will turn the tide and wipe your whole party out and there is nothing you can do about it. Luckily the developers are adding different modes to the game which will reduce the amount of grind it takes to beat it. Till then, Darkest Dungeon is still worth picking up for under $30.