Seabeard review: sail off into New Leaf I mean Hyrule I mean..
Despite being microtransaction heavy, Seabeard is a well made, super charming little game with plenty to keep you interested.
By: HandCircus and Backflip Studios
Available for: Android, iOS
One day, the worlds of Animal Crossing and Zelda: Wind Waker accidentally crossed and collided, creating a brand new world with elements from both. The result is Seabeard, a mobile game that is just as fun as it is charming.
You are the descendant of the great captain Seabeard, founder of Accordia and famous sailor of all the lands. Seabeard and his crew founded and brought prosperity to the island of Accordia and the many little islands surrounding it, but the lands have since fallen to disrepair. It’s up to you, young man or woman, to bring the lands back to their original glory, one small step at a time.
When you first set foot on your new home island, it’s mostly broken down and overrun with weeds, debris, and with buildings in severe need of a repair job. Little by little, you add things to your island, and as you find Seabeard’s old crew members, start to rebuild it.
There is tons to do on Seabeard, and different aspects of the game will appeal to different kinds of players.
You can explore the different kinds of islands surrounding your home, meeting the quirky denizens (find a rock with glasses and a nose.. “It’s just a rock. Nothing to see here.” Yep seems legit) and helping them out on their sometimes odd requests (“Deliver this package for me and don’t get caught! No questions asked.”). There are daily errands and timed ones, as well as the main storyline which you must complete to unlock more of your old island.
You can focus on unlocking your island and getting it bustling again, with houses, decorations, and even a little marketplace. This requires some looking around for ingredients and materials, and of course takes some real-world time which you can of course speed up with real-world money (more on that later).
Or you can ignore the main storyline altogether and instead have fun with all the little minigames you can find around the islands. To travel between islands, you can engage in a number of cute (and luckily skippable) minigames. You can also fish, craft, and even explore a dungeon and fight monsters.
If you’re an Animal Crossing fan, there’s plenty there for you too. You can buy buildings and furniture, as well as stylish new clothes that both look good and raise certain stats.
And yet with all this going for it, with such a different style and excellent execution, Seabeard is still a typical mobile game and it makes it painfully obvious with a heavy reliance on microtransactions. Your inventory, for instance, is tiny – especially if you’re the kind who wants to explore everywhere and pick everything up. You can increase it… for real money. You start out with a few “pearls” – ie paid for money – and while there are some chances of earning pearls as you play, they are few and earn very little.
Seabeard is one of those rare gems of the mobile world, and it wouldn’t be out of place on a dedicated handheld console. It’s also one of the very few games that many players would prefer to pay up front for, if the developers would remove the microtransaction elements.