Steam Library: Don't Sink

Setting sail on the high seas

Don’t Sink could have been a good game for fans of no-loss lotteries. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s take out our “Bingo” cards for the Steam library and win together.

First point: indie adventure. As usual, with elements of strategy, a pinch of open world, and, consequently, a courier simulator, firmly imprinted in the DNA of all open world games (point two). And also with a countless number of other details like simple ship battles and equally simple boarding.

Because point three is pirates. Classic ones, from the Caribbean, with rapiers and wooden prosthetics. Who doesn’t like to play pirates? Space cockroach simulators, cruising from one black hole to another, have shown that there are no untouchable settings in our world. But in recent years, so many scammers have jumped on that theme that “deep space” has gone to visit Fantasy and Post-Apocalypse. It’s April 2018, and you still can’t miss the mark with a project about pirates.

Just like with 2D retro graphics. The main thing is to avoid isometric view. Isometry is difficult and risky. Side view, old-school computer pixel art – that’s something you can’t go wrong with, it seems, under any circumstances. And “Bingo” spins faster, because “retro” and “pixel art” can always be separated into two separate advantages of our game.

Navigating treacherous waters

Point six – the soundtrack as a separate work of art. Separate not so much because it carries some special intrinsic value, but because it is sold separately as an additional item on Steam. I have no idea how popular these official soundtracks are, but these indie applications for musical victory that hang in the “New Releases” always look solid and inspire optimism.

Facing daunting challenges

In short, with Don’t Sink, I was hoping to get an irresistibly happy ticket. The only question was how many hours my adventures would last. In reality, however, it turned out that the developers decided to add a little salt to every single dish. And they oversalted the project to the point where it doesn’t immediately turn you off, but the excitement still fades very quickly.

For example, how can a spoonful of tar spoil the classic pixel art of the dawn of computer games? The one where even the clumsy little figures with one and a half pixels for faces only evoke tenderness and waves of nostalgia? I would never have guessed in my life if I hadn’t seen what the designers of Don’t Sink came up with. These tricksters enlarged the font. They simply took the familiar set of characters and pumped it up with digital gas to an unattractive state.

It’s especially frustrating to see the swollen letters when the same font is used properly and in the right proportions on the same screen. I can’t think of any reason to blow up text with an unsuitable font to half the screen. Well, except for “But now we’re not like everyone else.” Strange maneuver.

An adventure on the open ocean

Moreover, the picture on the DS is already quite unique. It’s like European autumn (and sometimes even winter) has come to the Caribbean islands. You’re used to dense tropical greenery of all shades of green, but here yellow and red are everywhere. It’s unusual; why is there this swollen text on top…

Or take the local boarding. Again, a faithful, never-dulling classic: an arcade duel of captains with swords against a team of transformed hit points, familiar to every first lover of classic Sid Meier’s Pirates. Thrust, ahem, up, thrust in the center, thrust down, and defense on the same three fronts.

What needs to be done with this simple mechanic to infuriate the player? I wouldn’t have guessed it myself until I personally experienced sword fighting in DS. A good answer is to assign each of the six actions described above to a separate key. And indeed, we have a whole keyboard here, so why complicate things, why write two-button combinations, it’s nonsense.

Once again, the designers fixed what wasn’t broken, and I have to endure it. In fact, out of the six keys, only one was used – the thrust to the body – but very, very often.

Surviving the dangers

Well, at least the last bastion, did you guys do the tasks according to the standards? Of course not. The first assignment I took, “sail from island A to island B, pick up the package,” sent me from island B to island C, and from there to island G. They met me at all the intermediate points and said, “Sorry, Mario, your package has been moved to another castle.” Well, okay, but I hope this is one of those rare “Courier’s Mistake” adventures, where a routine task for an easy thousand gold turns into a journey to the edge of the world. I’m starting another quest… are they all here with a catch?

Either my avatar in the world of Don’t Sink turned out to be some kind of special loser, or the developers really can’t pass a gamer’s quest without jokes, but four out of five of my simple debut tasks turned out to be stretched out with two or three additional checkpoints.

It’s one thing when your adventures take an unexpected turn, and another when things go according to plan, only with a lot of refueling stops. Leave me alone, I just want to work as a courier to earn money and… Take more ships for the hated boarding? Make new epic hooks along the islands? Yes, I know, my own settlement is growing in the background and asking for money for new houses, and there’s also the prospect of plundering the entire map on the horizon. But I think I’ll manage without it.

Don’t Sink
Adventure, RPG
Studio Eris
Studio Eris
Release Date:
Editor's rating:
Is it worth playing? (If the score is more than 70%)



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