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Sail Forth Switch Review – Set An Open Course for the Virgin Sea

Sail Forth Switch Review – Set An Open Course for the Virgin Sea

sail forth switch review

Sail Forth is a fun sailing adventure from Festive Vector and The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild that immediately puts you in the shoes of a boat captain as you sail the seas, recruit crew members, and collect booty (That means treasure in pirate lingo). It is a unique adventure with Wind Waker vibes that is adorable from beginning to end.

But is Sail Forth the young pirating adventure worthy of the seven seas? Or is this boat ultimately going to see its demise and collapse under pressure? Let’s find out!

sail forth switch review

You awaken alone, stranded on the remnants of a small ship, and prior to waking up, we are given a little, vague backstory about the seas and what happens within. It doesn’t take long for our little Captain to meet their first crewmate and begin upgrading the little boat, and essentially this is the direction moving forward.

The Captain is responsible for caring for the ship and the crewmates, and as you progress in the game, more crewmates become available, which ultimately means you must increase the size of your ship and fleet to accommodate the larger crew. Sailing the seas in Sail Forth is a lot of fun, and the variety of characters you meet along the way, all of crewmates, NPCs, and enemies, are flooded with personality that add so much to the experience.

In regards to story, there is not a whole lot in Sail Forth, but the depth is in the character development and the various characters. There are a lot of fun and interactive moments that keep the player’s attention as they progress and upgrade. Ultimately, the goal is to be the greatest crew of the seas, and that is only thanks to smart play, building a strong crew, having the greatest boats, and teaching all of those bullies of the sea who is boss.

sail forth switch review

Gameplay is actually a bit more limited than I had hoped, as everything in Sail Forth is limited to movements and interactions from your boat or fleet. Although there are various islands and NPCs to chat with, you have to do it from the boat. There is no walking around or exploring on foot, so this is the crux of the gameplay.

Sailing is pretty smooth, and it does remind me in some ways of Wind Waker, particularly in the sail and wind direction. One point of gameplay that is amazing right out of the gate is the ability to fast travel to certain points, which you unlock when finding map fragments. The menu wheel gives you access to the whole map and even individual islands to gain a better grasp of what is happening.

Ship improvements and upgrades are pretty streamlined in Sail Forth, which is nice. Damage can be repaired quickly as long as you have the right resources, and as you explore and collect more resources, they can also be spent on bigger boats, more cannons, and more. As Captain, not only do you command your own boat, but you will eventually add more boats to your fleet which will only further your power both in combat and in normal gameplay.

sail forth switch review

Speaking of combat, Sail Forth has opposing pirates who are constantly trying to stop your growth and operations. This is why adding cannons to your boat(s) is detrimental for survival, especially equipping them in different directions, because if you are ill-equipped for such a scenario, you will perish and will respawn from the last checkpoint. It is a nice system, but a lot more preparation needs to happen before boldly diving in to dangerous scenarios.

The other area that reminds me heavily of Wind Waker are the gorgeous cell-shaded graphics. Sail Forth has beautiful water affects, and the way the different lighting hits it depending on the time of day is stunning. The characters are all adorably designed, but I will say that the inability to traverse on the islands limits their detail. In many ways, this makes the world feel smaller, as almost everything is subject to the boats or the water itself. Despite that, this is a gorgeous-looking game.

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There are a lot of other things you can do, too, that continue the entertainment, and that includes things like fishing, taking pictures, and more. Sail Forth is an open-world game of sorts, but like I mentioned before, the limitations do diminish that “open-world” feel. On the Switch, there were even the occasional frame rate dips that were quite noticeable, and the slowdown during some intense battles made for souring moments.

sail forth switch review

Sail Forth is a great little exploration title on the Nintendo Switch. It’s price is beyond fair, and the amount of gameplay that comes with it is quite massive. There are loads of things to do, and most of it is genuine fun. Unfortunately, Sail Forth does have its nagging issues, particularly in the technical department. Despite that, sailing feels great, the characters are amazing, and combat, for the most part, is engaging and thrilling.

If you are desperate to experience the life of a Captain and command your own fleet of ships, then Sail Forth may be the game for you. Just remember that this is strictly sailing, so if you are looking for something more along the lines of Wind Waker, look elsewhere. However, if the sailing part of Wind Waker was your favorite, then I have great news for you! Sail Forth will be your jam.

Sail Forth Switch Review provided by Nintendo Link
Publisher: The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Developer: Festive Vector
Release Date: December 21st, 2022
Price: $19.99, £16.75, €19,49
Game Size: 437 MB

sail forth switch review

Sailing feels amazing!

Art style is beautiful and even nostalgic

Various characters are whimsical and fun

Building your fleet is simple and amazing


Some technical issues, particularly in frame rate dips

Inability to explore islands and certain areas

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