Being stuck in the Bermuda Triangle ain’t easy. For one, you have to deal with the whole “going missing” thing. And all those ships that have disappeared in there have got to be floating somewhere. Now if you were an explorer, there might be a chance for you. Let’s take a look around the Lost Sea, and see what treasures we can find.
Lost Sea plays as a top-down, procedurally generated, cel-shaded hack-n-slash-a-thon with some minor puzzle elements thrown in. You’re marooned on an island in the Bermuda Triangle, and must make your way from island to island in the archipelago (yes, there’s one there now. Just go with it, ok?) using mystical stone tablets dotted around the islands. In among all this are other marooned folk that you can co-opt for their skills. Added to this is the ability to spend the loot you find on upgrades, helping you move on a little faster.
A sample run, then, looks a lot like this: explore island, find lost person, decide to hire them, hire them, slash everything in sight, find key, open giant doors, find tablet one, deliver tablet one, find tablet two, deliver tablet two, kill everything that remains, board boat, next island, repeat. There’s the other, minor stuff as well, such as use hireling to open chests and build bridges, and while these incidents seem limited to one or two per island, it adds a little variety to things.
Leveling up your character requires money, of course, and there’s certainly a lot of it about, albeit in small amounts. Gathering enough will allow you buy one of the insanely expensive upgrades, such as more being able to carry more items. You can only equip a few objects at a time, though, so once you’ve found something you like, odds are low of you changing things.
While most of the game plays okay, it it relies too much on the “procedural generation” bit, and not enough on challenge or variety–which is weird when talking about procedural generation. I never seemed to run into enough monsters to make it exciting, and once you’d figured out an attack pattern, it became ridiculously simple to breeze through the lot of them.
While Lost Sea can certainly fall into the category of “mindless gameplay”, it’s not terrible mindless gameplay. It gets a bit repetitive, even if the scenery changes, and it could use a bit more of a challenge. Lost Sea looks like it aimed at being a cel-shaded, tropical Diablo, but fell somewhat short of that ideal. Huge pity, because a tropical Diablo that worked would have been awesome.