Set sail and fire cannonballs at your friends as you command a pirate ship in a festive arena game from developers Interactive Stone. From octopus-infested waters to avoiding mermaids at sea, there are many ways of challenging to show who is truly the king of the seas.
The Sea King hires friends for a sea battle in a local arena on the high seas. Players first choose one of 8 totally unique pirate ships. These ships, each with their own specific theme, are very nicely designed. My favorite is the Doomy, which is black and green and bears an uncanny resemblance to the Pirates of the Caribbean ship, with ships like the Seahorse, which is an ode to Viking culture, decorated with shields and with red and white patterns. The Anubis ship is another of my favorites, and as the name suggests, it’s all Egyptian with a large statue of Anubis at the steering wheel. Each of these ships is rendered in chibi style, so don’t expect exact proportions or anything, but that’s exactly why I liked the style here.
Once you’ve chosen a ship, you’ll enter several game modes. There are 12 events in total and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety. One example for me is the Micro Battle Royale mode, where Kraken and his tentacles leave the already tense arena rather quickly, albeit with a ship still standing. Siren Song places a Sea Fox in your arena, and when it sings, your ship is left without your control. He’s a smart mechanic to really reset your aim. As with all good water games, there is also a way of fishing where a large net is attached to the stern and you have to get as many fish out of the arena before time runs out. Every time you are destroyed, you lose everything you have collected. This mode in particular, while fun in small touches, quickly turned into a mad dash to actually catch fish and eliminate my friends in the last few seconds.
The gameplay is that of a single-screen arena, pitting your ship against your friends or artificial intelligence robots on the seas. Your 4 buttons work like any of your guns, and by pressing one of them you shoot from the right place on the boat with a short reload time after. While this method is certainly functional, I have often driven my ship feverishly, easily forgetting my bearings and pulling on the wrong side of my pirate ship. If a cannonball hits another ship, it is destroyed and, in modes that allow it, restarted almost immediately. It’s as simple as possible, which is good, but I’d like to see different cannonballs or other weapons available.
The Sea King is very nice with its caricature and striking aesthetic. Numerous small animations appear in each mode, and each ship offers a beautiful color scheme that ensures you never get lost where you are. I found that this can be a sore point in this genre, so it’s always a positive note when you can follow your character, or the warship in this title. The sound effects and music are pretty typical for a pirate game, but one-liners get obnoxious after the third round, so luckily they can be turned off via the options menu.
But where the game fails is in creating a progression or configuration for the players. What you see is what you get, as far as I found out during the game. Other than choosing your name to appear above your ship, you cannot get any other customization or unlocking of the ship. Also, unlike most of the arena games I’ve played, I was a little surprised to find no option for custom games. Personally, I would like to be able to change certain rules, like the number of cannonball shots before a ship is destroyed, or the duration of the timer in fishing mode, or the speed of the bead in octopus mode. These custom matches are something that usually holds the breath of such matches for a long time as players get tired of a standardized set of rules, but this omission is pretty obvious here.
Sea King lands on the platform in an ocean full of arena games, and while the graphics and theme are very appealing, there isn’t much wind in the sails to make this game last long. But for only $5, you can do much worse.
Sea King Overview
- Charts – 6.5/10
- Sound – 4/10
- Gameplay – 4/10
- Late complaint – 3/10
Final thoughts : MEDIOCR
Sea King is an arena game on the theme of pirate ships, designed for local games. Visually, the game finds its place with beautiful boats and jeep-like environments. There’s a very solid selection of game modes, and many of them are quite unique, but the lack of a custom game mode means you have to stick to what’s meant for you. The gameplay is super simple – almost to your detriment, and there is no progression or unlocking. If you’re in the mood to add another arena game to your library, Sea King is perfect, but for the price it’s overpriced.
Alex has been in the game industry since the release of Nintendo. He’s turned his hobby into a career, spending just over a decade developing games and now serving as creative director of the studio.
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