Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Wager: A Splendid Pirate Adventure

It's been a while since I've had an indie game to do some impressions on, apologies for that, but here we have with this wonderful non-linear pirate adventure. This is a game that looks like an old school 90's PC game, one that is all about details and fun. The Wager is a free PC indie game that just released its 1.2 version. My one and major complaint about the game is that it doesn't have customizable screen resolution, it is set at whatever Surprised Man set it too when he created the game. The game has a very simple premise, you are an explorer that is competing  with a rival explorer and whoever accumulates the most wealth after a year wins. You accumulate wealth by exploring the randomly generated ocean and islands.  You sell the locations of islands to docks/towns and use that money to upgrade your ship. There is so much random and fantastic about this game that it makes it one of those "just one more turn" kind of games, except there are no turns just a year in which to do as much as you can.

What I love about the Wager is it's random events that all seem to tie in with items you find and places you explore. Each island you find can be explored and each island has random events that can happen. Sometimes  merely find extra resources that make the island more valuable but often enough there are events that can happen while exploring. An example of an event would be finding a seemingly simple shipwreck, but after exploring it you find that one of your crew is mysteriously gone. That is very basic event, there are complicated events that rely on you having specific items or events that have multiple parts or decisions. One of my favorite events was getting attacked by a pirate ghost ship and despite having the largest crew available, cannons and experienced crewmen, my men were still losing the fight, but I had two specific somethings that allowed me to defeat the ghosts. I had no idea what those somethings previously did and I do not wish to spoil them for you, but lets just say that it almost always seem a good idea to save unique items. 

Each game of The Wager will last you an hour or so, of which there are three difficulties, and the game is surprisingly difficult. I've done three games on medium and I've yet to win, but each time I get closer to beating my rival. You have to balance making money with upgrading your ship and building docks on islands, something that takes a while to get used to and do intelligently. Even after three times I am still continuously running into new events and it helps that so much of the game is randomly generated, from names to islands to when events will occur. Check out this game, at least for one round, it should appeal to anyone who played old school PC games. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy. 
Main Website:

I must thank RPS for turning me on to this game in the first place. 
-Written By Sean Cargle


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