Genre: Roguelike turn-based card game
Developer: 45 Studio
Publisher: SOFTSTAR ENTERTAINMENT, Gamera Games
Release Date: October 19th, 2022
Edited by AlexKnight2005
Across the lands and sea, there lie many evils, with adventurers each making their way through hardships to bring peace. Each brave soul that decides to venture out has a story connected to these monstrous entities, which may bring them together.
Sea Horizon is a mixture of turn-based combat and roguelike on Hexa-grid land. There are several characters that are different classes you can earn and choose from, each with a short story. There are currently two modes to play with, and each character class can be leveled up to earn different cards to use during gameplay.
There are two modes you can choose from, story or dungeon. Story mode allows you to earn new character classes to use later on in dungeon mode. You get background for each character when playing through, with also being able to earn cards to choose and build from when playing the game. The combat is based on dice rolls that get rolled depending on what gear you have and only can be used with the proper types of cards that have the same action. There are four actions to build with: a sword, shield, leaf, and spiral. The number of dice will be determined by the gear you decide to pick up along the way; the better rarity, the more dice you’ll get, along with possibly a side ability. Usually, the type of gear will be clear on the type of action roll it will give. A heavy set of steel armor will give shield rolls, or a leather tunic will give you swords and spirals. Cloth can give you leaves and spirals. Weapons are class locked, so there isn’t really a choice in that, but the cards that are given usually make you choose gear that pertains to what your cards need.
The more you play, the more you’ll get better cards and find out about different actions that can be taken, such as debuffs, buffs, or types of monster actions. There are also other mechanics you must keep track of, or you will perish on the spot. On top of keeping your character alive, you have to keep track of their food. Each movement on a tile requires food. To get food, you need to buy it from select markets, and to get money, you have to do fights to earn money. Doing all this simultaneously while ensuring you are properly equipped to fight the boss at the end. It isn’t as complex as it sounds, but it can get frustrating depending on the RNG you get into. The difficulty doesn’t really make sense when tied to earning cards to level up your character. In the beginning, learning the character might cause you to die in battle, needing to redo the story, while other times, you can complete it on the first try, not earning anything new. Either way, the amount of time and grind it takes just to level up a character doesn’t seem worth it, especially when you can beat it the first time around.
Visually, the kind of low poly art style goes really well with its tabletop theme. Makes it feel a little more fun traversing around with your little character on a board while also having the world being alive and interactions like live fire lights. When you get into a fight, the detail goes a little more in-depth with the characters and creatures you’re fighting. While still kind of minimal, still more than the overworld board. A nice small visual detail that I always love seeing is when you equip a new piece of gear, and it appears on your character. The sounds and music are a bit lackluster, but they still do enough to get the job done. Not really the main focus of everything, but noticeably lacking a bit.
While the stories are short and really for small backgrounds to each character, the only interesting parts were having the stories connect from each character class to the next and how they fit into each other. It was kind of disappointing that there wasn’t just one story mode where you pick up characters along the way to join you or do something to acquire them, instead of, like, ten separate short stories, in which you can only use them in a different game mode. Or even unlocking them during a story and using them together in your next run, maybe a different story.
Overall, it was okay. Nothing stood out in the game, but nothing was wrong at the same time. It ran smoothly and encountered little to no bugs. It’s just the content that feels underwhelming, and the direction currently feels lost. Requiring you to play these short stories that aren’t very enticing to use in a completely different game mode that doesn’t even have a story to it besides beating a boss at the end of a dungeon didn’t make me want to continue to see the rest. The leveling system to get new cards was way too grindy, and even the newer cards earned didn’t make me want to figure out what builds I could do.
- Interesting combinations of genres
- Continuous gameplay loop
- Gamemodes lack direction
- Progression needs more incentive
- Mechanics are lackluster build wise
- Doesn’t feel very roguelike
If you like roguelikes and a mixture of cards, dice rolls, and turn-based combat, you might enjoy what they currently have in this game so far. There is enough to get more than several hours of gameplay, but currently, it feels repetitive. It’s on Steam for $14.99 and is currently in Early Access.