Nintendo Life’s Trent Cannon gets swept out to fun in their whimsical review of Sail Forth, a quirky, breathtaking sailing adventure from developer Festive Vector and publisher Quantum Astrophysicists Guild, available now on Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam, Epic Games Store, and Humble Bundle.

Throughout our time with Sail Forth, it reminded us of someone taking the procedurally generated basics of No Man’s Sky and giving it a Wind Waker-eque cel-shaded aesthetic. While there are plenty of pirates to fight wherever you go, the bulk of the game is spent wandering the seas, moving from one biome to the next to find the darkness that the talking star referred to in the opening. The oceans slowly open up to you, revealing more opportunities to do battle or to fulfil requests from the odd people who live on the randomly generated islands you find.

The map of the Deepblue opens slowly, with regions needing to be discovered before you can fast-travel to them. Sometimes characters will tell you about a landmark, which will mark it on your map, but more often you’ll discover map fragments as you explore which will lead you to the next key point in your journey.

Movement requires paying attention to the direction of the wind and letting it partially guide your path. …Sail Forth’s boating is more realistic than many other games that put you at the helm. Trying to sail with a shortest-path mentality to your next objective will not only slow you down but will also cause you to miss out on key moments in the game. When faced with a stiff headwind, the best option is to trim the sails and change course to see what next surprise the seas have waiting for you.

Each ship you add to your fleet has different maneuverability and weapon placements, giving you multiple options in how you take on these enemies. Some point forward while others are on the sides of your ship, allowing for a more conventional ship-to-ship combat experience. Beyond cosmetic choices like the colour and emblem that flies on your sails, this is the main way that you can customise your fleet. It isn’t incredibly deep but it adds a much-needed wrinkle to keep Sail Forth from feeling one-note.

The visuals are relaxing and effective, and almost every character has a lot of charm in the way they’re presented. Sailing is surprisingly fun… and the fleet-building mechanics have just enough depth without feeling overwhelming. A good way to unwind if you’re happy to go with the wind.

Check out Nintendo Life’s full article here. For more information on Sail Forth, please visit the website here, follow @sailforthgame, @festivevector, and @quantumapg on Twitter, and search for #SailForth on social media.