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Ocean sandbox, Sat 8th Oct 2022
By rovarsson - See all my reviews
I’ve been on a most adventurous journey through Dream World. I visited enchanting islands and got lost in a murky swamp. I mined the mountains for rare crystals and had some dealings with a shady Thief. I visited a town where the dead are buried under the floors of the living. A city full of lights of all colours mesmerized me.
Lost Coastlines is a procedurally generated sandbox RPG implemented in Adrift. It eschews the normal parser commands in favour of a choice-based approach. This means that the granularity of actions is far coarser than in your usual parser game, instead focusing on higher level commands to choose, for example, PLUNDER THIS SEA STRAIT, or MINE FOR CRYSTALS. The results of your choices are calculated based on your strengths and weaknesses. In turn, they affect those stats, giving you better skills or lower tolerance for your next adventures.
I cannot begin to fathom the switches, buttons and dials that this game juggles under the hood, the amount of variables that work in concert to make this a smooth exploration experience, but they work.
There are still minor issues, capitalization of place-names and the odd typo being the most noticeable, but as a whole, the game runs smoothly without any major glitches I could notice.
The writing is fit for such a large scale enterprise, giving grand visions of lost continents and sparkling fantasy cities, and introducing intruiging characters in a few pointed sentences.
I enjoyed it best by playing in shortish sessions of fifteen to twenty minutes at a time, as the gameplay of “visit an island, perform one action, maybe have a meaningful encounter, and then repeat the cycle” can become repetitive. Even then, the game sucked me in and had me mumbling “Just one more turn before I quit…” more than once.
I feel I’ll be returning to this game many times long after the Comp. I’ll also study the PDF manual ànd the in-game help more closely, so I can make better sense of the character information viewed by the STATUS command. This way, I’m hoping to set up a more focused long term expedition with self-imposed quest-objectives.
A large-scale journey of discovery in a vast enchanting world.