Windward – Piracy, Commissions, Treasure Hunts and Exploration

Who doesn’t dream of piracy? No, not hooking up a Torrent client and synching your machine with the Internet, but commandeering a boat and taking to the high seas, trading in spices, goods and liquor. Well, it seems Windward by Tasharen Entertainment Inc will let me do some of these things and you don’t have to be a master at sword play to make progress.

During the Steam sale I picked up an Indie game just recently out of Early Access, Windward. It had an interesting description of – fighting pirates, trading with towns, doing quests or simply exploring. Oh, so I’m not a pirate, but actually working to stop piracy. All right, that’s a little different, I can play along with that.

So I started off my adventure by aimlessly circling my inlet looking for the right direction of travel. I sorted myself out and began strafing the beaches wherein I picked up lost boxes of cargo and loot. I assume they were meant for me to pick up because as soon as I got near them, they leaped into the boat without being told.

From this scavenging I managed to gain some gold, wood and powder. Wait, wood? What the devil is that for? Oh, I see, it’s to repair my boat when I run aground. Hey, thanks for that!

As I sailed about my small world to get the lay of the land, I was commissioned to come to the aid of one of the cities to rid it of some scurvy pirates. The pirates may or may not have had scurvy, but for the sake of argument, in this story, they did.

A path was drawn to my destination and I made haste to follow. It was then I realized I had a crew of other sailing ships and they met up with me at the town in distress. As we docked and stood our ground, the uprising was suppressed and we were rewarded with much gold and loot. That all seemed rather uneventful, but at this same time a crew of pirates were on their way to stop us from stopping them from having fun. Without warning they opened fire. My crew and I were now in the midst of an open sea battle. We turned our ships and opened fire. It was two against one and we soon sent the pirate menace to a watery grave. To add insult to injury, we looted their ship as it sank and disappeared below the waves.

Well damn! I won my first sea battle and I had no idea what the hell I was doing! It’s the pirate life for me! Or rather, it’s anti-pirate life for me!

There was an even greater need of justice so we set off to an entirely new area besieged by pirates. Our goal was to sink their vessels and recapture the towns they had captured, thereby running them out.

So begins my first couple of hours within Windward. I haven’t accomplished much, but I now find myself in the middle of several fights and if I manage to get away without being sunk, I might just make a tidy profit of gold out of this. You better appreciate the good deeds I’m doing for you towns who’s names I don’t know!

Windward is a nice looking game with an easy to understand and use UI. Navigating your boat is quite easy with simple clicks of the mouse in the direction you want to go. There’s no lengthy tutorial, just a few quick tips at the top of the screen to get you started and on your way.

The goal of the game is quite simple, create wealth by trading goods between ports, build your reputation by helping port cities in need, and engage pirates in battle to curtail their booty taking ways. It may not be the deepest pirate story out there as in I haven’t been wronged in my early years and have a thirst for vengeance, nor have I been kidnapped or absconded with and need to find my way back to my homeland, nor have I turned to a selfish life of decadence and debauchery just for the sake of decadence and debauchery, but it’s still entertaining.

There is a diplomacy angle to the game which I haven’t gotten too yet, but it appears I need to build up my reputation before I can engage in such things. Certainly a goal to shoot for.

From what I can tell there are multiple areas available so this small inlet is just the beginning. It appears I can work my way up to bigger boats, bigger guns, I can bride crews and build a reputation for myself that will earn me more XP, gold and more commissions.

While I plan to play in single player, multiplayer is offered wherein you and your friends are on the same team and work to dispatch the pirates. With the right group, that sounds like it could be pretty fun.
But I don’t play well with others, so I’m not even gonna try.

When you put it all together, Windward is a bit like Pirates, has tinges of Dope Wars with the whole buy low sell high in different regions, has a blend of Civilization with it’s diplomacy angle and elements of RPG games as you get quests and loot. It all comes together pretty well though and so far I’ve been pleased.

I’ve just scratched the surface so I’m not sure how "deep" the game will get. I like Indie titles like this and plan to explore more of this land and will report back on how I fair against the pirates. Unless of course I get scurvy.

Windward on Steam
Windward Website

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Look i brought my buddies!

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So light the big burny end with the big wick and launch the lead ball at them!

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Oh good, navigational aids. This will come in hand and keep me from getting lost at sea wherein I will run out of supplies and die a horrible death at the hands of starvation and dehydration.

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Some of these shores will be a bit tricky to negotiate!

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You’ll never take me alive!

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