Sail Forth was released right before Christmas for all major systems by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild after having been developed by Festive Vector – here’s a closer look at the PlayStation 5 version of the game.
Because of its release date right before Christmas, we can see a lot of people possibly overlooking this little gem, which is a shame as it’s absolutely charming and fun to play, exploring the oceans with Captain Toot as you discover new areas of the map while hiring crew to help you grow the size of your fleet. And while there’s an adventurous story premise, Sail Forth is generally a very laid back experience that doesn’t focus very much on its narrative elements.
Instead, it offers bundles of charm, not in the least through its visual style that’s simple and colorful with cute character designs and a ditto world for them to live and interact in. An uplifting soundtrack and a generally cheerful demeanor help make this a cheerful experience that’s easy to get lost and immersed in – especially because it’s technically very sound, with not a single visual or gameplay bug in sight.
Over the course of your exploration (through a procedurally generated world), there’s a lot more content to engage in than what you’d expect, based on the vastness of the oceans. There’s a bit of naval combat from time to time, there are some management aspects and even a few very casual experiences, like taking photos. As mentioned, this is generally a laid back experience, even though you can seek out a few thrills through combat or a racing challenge as well – some of the combat scenarios even pitting you against a sea monster!
And although there’s a fast travel option, you can also choose to just casually sail and follow where the wind takes you. This is entirely optional, but the game will also reward you for it – there are secrets to be found on the map that you wouldn’t find when fast traveling. So even though you’ll probably resort to fast travel eventually, it’s a nice idea that getting lost on the high seas has its own rewards.
It’s a bit of a shame that some will have overlooked Sail Forth because they were already enjoying the holidays, as it feels like one of those games that’s perfect for when you’re not pressed for time and can just enjoy a fun gameplay experience at your own pace for a few hours. It’s not an “edge of the seat” kind of thrill ride, but it’s certainly a nice experience as a change of pace.