Nantucketby Aethyna Dec 27, 2017 | 3 Votes | 2 Played | 0 Reviews 10 rate Based on Moby Dick, Nantucket lets you assume the role of a captain of a whaling ship in the mid-nineteenth century. Aside from hunting massive sea creatures, upgrading both your crew and your ship, and earning a living from whaling, you’ll get to set off on your personal quest to hunt down the infamous albino sperm whale. Play Now Similar Games Played
People Also PlayedNote: This is simply a preview of the unreleased game, Nantucket. The game is still currently under development and will only be officially released on Jan 18th 2018.
Based on the classic literature, Moby Dick, Nantucket is a strategic whaling game with an emphasis on ship and crew management. In this game, you’ll get to dive right into the life of a captain of a whaling ship in the mid-nineteenth century. Aside from hunting whales, sharks, and other massive sea creatures, upgrading both your crew and your ship, as well as raking in tons of coins from selling your whaling goods, the game will let you set off on your personal quest to finally hunt down the infamous Moby Dick. Will you finally be able to avenge Captain Ahab and put that monstrous beast to rest?
If you didn’t skip the tutorial, you’ll go through a somewhat short sequence where you’ll play the role of a lowly cabin boy on the whaling ship (the Pequod) of the renowned Captain Ahab while he is set on his obsessive quest to hunt down Moby Dick.
Spoiler alert though – Captain Ahab was killed in the attempt and his ship destroyed. You barely survived the encounter yourself, but that encounter with Moby Dick haunts you just like it haunted Ahab. Against your better judgment, you’ve decided to set sail once again – this time as the captain of your very own ship – in hopes of finally slaying the beast and put to rest the nightmares you get.
To begin your epic whaling journey, you’ll need to first have a character to play as. Setting up your character is simple enough. After adding a name, you just need to assign a point to a Skill you want to focus on, either Hunting, Sailing, Science or Crafting; and choose a Trait. For Trait, I’d personally recommend getting Smart just because you can get an extra skill point.
You’ll also get to choose whether you’d like to activate the Sea Dog Mode which will only allow you to save when you quit the game – not a very good idea if you’re new to the game. After all, it can be quite the lifesaver if you can save your game prior to every battle or while docked at port. You can choose to opt out of the tutorial as well, but again, if you’re new, this is a pretty crucial process for you to learn the basics…. Trust me, you’ll need all the help you can get! Not to mention, you’ll get a nice little cutscene after the tutorial which explains why you decide to head back out to sea after that almost fatal encounter with Moby Dick.
Now that you’re a captain of your very own ship, you’ll need a crew. There are 5 classes of crew you can hire and personally, I’d recommend getting a sailor, a hunter, and a scientist unless your captain is already able to fulfill any one of those roles. The sailor will be able to help you save on supplies because he’ll be able to get you to your destination faster. The hunter is needed during whaling expeditions as he will probably end up being the person doing most of the damage. The scientist is something like a doctor on your ship and can be incredibly crucial during whaling trips as well since he can help heal your crew. You can get a Cabin Boy too if you like but they are more of “Jack-of-all-trades but master of none”– type class.
Aside from class, you’ll also need to pay attention to the traits these potential sailors may bring to your crew. Some may have negative traits that may turn out to be more trouble than they are worth. Each crew member will also have their own sets of skills, some of which may even open up new ship compartments or game features (such as the ability to set up safe docks) for you. Once hired, you can even equip them with a special item which will usually enhance a certain skill.
Anyway, hiring new crew members from the tavern is rather interesting because you don’t need to use money to hire them. Instead, they will take a percentage, called a “lay” – how much depends on their levels and skills – from your overall whaling profits. However, this doesn’t mean that you can get the highest-level crew for your ship right from the get-go. There’s still this little thing called “Prestige”.
Each crew member will require certain Prestige to hire. Like building a deck of cards in a CCG, it also functions as a limit so you can’t get a better crew for your ship than your Prestige allow. That said, your prestige will gradually increase as you successfully complete quests, treat your crew well, and slay more sea creatures. In good time, you’ll be able to get the best talents these taverns have to offer.
Having a good crew is as equally important as having a good ship to sail on. At the Shipwright’s Office, you can buy new ships – there are many types, each with different cargo capacity, sailing speed, and sometimes even compartments; repair your current one, or research for new ship technologies, which takes time and cash. However, since these technologies are transferable (to any new ship you buy), it’s wise to invest heavily in these.
Getting a newspaper while at port is important as well, since you’ll not only get the latest news fresh from the press, but also jobs to earn some extra cash during off-seasons. These jobs seem to be randomly generated and they can get rather repetitive after a while though since they basically consist of the same few jobs, either transporting cargo, finding missing ships, or uncovering new whaling locations. These jobs are merely minor quests in your quest log, however. In addition to the main story-based quest, you may sometimes even get side quests which will usually end with a really good reward, like a legendary harpoon.
Last but not least, before you set sail, you’ll need to stock up on supplies. The Merchant’s Shop at every port you dock at will have food, water, grog and wood for sale, but at varying prices. Bigger ports will often have cheaper supplies. Naturally, you will need to carry enough supplies to last you the trip (and a bit extra for unforeseen circumstances) and yet have enough empty space in your hold to store the whale blubber, oil, and meat you’ll be harvesting. You’ll also get a Rationing option while sailing which you can activate if needed at the cost of lowering your crew’s morale.
Sailing in Nantucket is really simple since you just need to right click on a location to set your destination and click on the Play button to start sailing. You don’t really need to bother much with weather conditions or wind direction if you’ve got a really good sailor at the wheel. You can also assign your crew to different positions around your ship as needed, for instance, injured crew can restore their health if they rest in the cabin.
The main aspect of Nantucket is probably the creature encounters. This is where you’ll get to actually take on blue whales, narwhals, sharks, and even other legendary boss-like sea creatures in combat. There’s a “preparation phase” before combat where you’ll get to choose which crew to bring to the battle.
The turn-based combat system in Nantucket may seem rather complicated at first, but if you went through its tutorial and actually pay attention, you should be able to grasp the basics. Generally, you’ll get to switch between skills depending on the skill you need. For example, the Science skill can be used whenever you need healing and the Hunting skill is for… well, doing damage to the enemy. The damage the Hunter deals depends on the level of his skill, your ship’s Harpoon quality, and some damage-boosting traits, such as Strong.
However, you can only make one action per round, which is quite stark in contrast to the multiple actions that each creature you fight can take. This makes fighting multiple enemies without taking any casualties quite difficult when your whaling crew is all low-level. Not to mention, each battle is subjected to the game’s Random Combat Conditions, which may affect your crew or the sea creatures you’re fighting against by boosting or reducing damage, disabling certain skills, stunning a random person or creature, etc.
Besides remembering to save before a battle (or as frequently as you can), here another a quick battle tip for you – don’t forget to take note of the victory condition for certain encounters, especially quest-related ones. Sometimes, you just needed to be defensive and weather through several rounds of attacks.
Once the battle is done and over with, you can then load your hold up with your loot. Whale blubber and oil can then be automatically sold whenever you dock at a port, but you might want to take note of the rates at each dock. You might be able to turn more profit if you pick the right dock to head to.
In addition to battles, you may also get random events as you sail. These events usually will force you to choose a decision out of the many decisions offered. Each decision you make comes with consequences which can be good or bad since these decisions often have a chance of failing.
Since the game hasn’t really released yet, the game doesn’t really have a player community to speak of. However, Nantucket has garnered a sizeable interest among players in the indie gaming community.
Nantucket has some really stunning graphics. The art direction in this game is very appealing and in some way, quite fitting since it brings to mind (at least in my mind) the art style used in classic literature books. I also like that the port has a day-and-night cycle. It’s a really nice touch.
In terms of sound, the game has a ton of soundtracks that is quite impressive for an indie game. Each piece of music and sound effects (such as the sound of sea waves or the creaking of ships) are well-suited for the scenario it’s played in, be it at the tavern or while sailing at sea.
In fact, I really liked the sea shanties that are featured in this game. Sea shanties worked extremely well in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and I think it worked really well in Nantucket too. However, I often find that I wasn’t able to listen to the full song since some event may just pop up and disrupt it. Not to mention, unlike AC4, you can’t really sail idly at no cost just so you can listen to these songs. Due to this, I think having the sea shanties as a separate add-on or a soundtrack DLC would be great. After all, I think the sea shanties in this game sound a whole lot better than in AC4.
In short, Nantucket is a truly impressive strategy/management game that puts you behind the wheel of your very own whaling ship. The game seems to not only has a storyline that continues where the classic literature Moby Dick left off, and also an engaging gameplay with a unique, turn-based combat system. Granted that there are a few minor aspects the game can improve on, such as adding in more player portraits, Nantucket is one of those rare indie gems that will be making waves in the gaming community and industry.