Genre: Indie, Simulation, Strategy
Release Date: 24 Feb, 2017
Unpolished Tropico clone.. clearly abandoned another one that had promise dont bother. All in all, not bad, but probably too little content to be worth the pricetag.
Seasteader is a kind of Tropico clone, only set at sea so there's no limitations on your building placement. You have a series of buildings which generate income. Each of these buildings needs some level of population to run it and costs money in maintenance, and may or may not require goods as income. They produce goods as output, which you can then sell periodically on the market to turn a profit.
There's about 10-15 goods to trade in, like oil and fruit, and your population have a number of 'needs' like housing or entertainment that need to be topped up via service buildings. There's also hints of a class structure, though this is little-used in the game. Occasionally, you'll get a mission, like 'build an oil refinery', or an event will occur, like a price collapse in a given good. These are pretty solid mechanics and the game is nicely balanced.
However, there's not really that much to do. You have 25-30 building types, and it's not that hard to build all of them within an hour or so. It's fun, but it's hard to see anyone streching the game out for more than 5-6 hours before they feel they've seen everyhting and done everything. This would be OK for a $15 game, but this is selling for twice that.
Of course, Cozygoat might add more content over time, and there's a very solid basis for them to build on; it doesn't appear to crash - like, ever - and the socio-economic model is both reasonably comlpex and tightly balanced. A few additional features, like more varied and interesting events (disasters anyone?), or a loans or stockmarket system would add some much-needed challenge, since presently all the difficulty seeps out after you've been running a Seastead for 2 hours or so - it just becomes a matter of waiting for the net massive export wave. More high-end buildings would be cool, too, as would some greater gameplay impact from the highly detailed population model (some government simulation aspects, perhaps, with a degree of competition in the population).
All in all, it's well worth picking up on sale - but I wouldn't recommend paying full price.. clearly abandoned another one that had promise dont bother. I'd say it's quite an OK game, but certainly not worth the price. It feels unpolished and generally unfinished. I got it on 80% discount, and I still feel that it was too much. Moreover, apparently the game is abandoned as the last update was released more than a year ago.. Edited after first 10 missions done
Some of the content makes me think of the first version of Tropico. Not a direct comparison but there are some mechanics similarities. It's quite easy to get into the game but the mechanics seem a bit shallow once you've played for a while. If you have a good approach to the early game its pretty easy to build incrementally and create your sprawling sea city. Obviously I've not finished all the scenarios yet and there are still acheivements to get but I'm not sure at the replayability once those are done.
Overall there is some good game time here though increasingly I seem to play it with the + key pressed down (5x speed) waiting for the next pay day or imigration trigger. The lack of factions or polotics or something that stops you increasing everything with no downside may be part of the limiting factor.
I'm going to stick to my positive review here, overall it is considerably better than a lot of the early access trash that is kicking around on steam right now and I'm keen to encourage an indie developer to pursue if this is their first attempt. $30 is a bit steep for the current state of the game in my humble opinion but there is a great platform her for SeaSteader 2.. Seasteader in its current form is WAY to slow to keep your attention for longer than 30 minutes. I tried to tough it out by telling myself it will get better. But 30 days into the game and with only a population of 33 people to supply jobs of 45 people. I had to say enough time has been wasted and stop playing.
Gameplay has to be played on fastest speed to get anything done, and money needs to be made faster so the players can feel like we are building something. In its current form I say 2\/10 and don't bother. I will of course say that it is still early and this game may become a great title.. It's a good game overall. However, the game would benefit from more production and manufactering options, such as a cannery, and perhaps the ability to grow tobacco and manufacture cigars.
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