Sea Salt

What is “Sea Salt?”

Sea salt is a single player strategy game. The story of the game is about an archbishop for a church that worships a Kraken like God known as Lord Dagan. The archbishop having stolen the church’s gold for himself has provoked the ire of the Lord Dagan. The player, chooses an acolyte to lead an army of monsters to the disloyal archbishops door in order to exact vengeance upon the disloyal servent.

The Win Condition

As per the rules set out in our first blog post, all games are played to any% completion. In the case of “Sea Salt,” this is pretty straight forward. Simply play until the credits are reached.

The Experience

The gameplay experience of “Sea Salt,” actually feels pretty unique. As the player you control a group of monsters whom must kill everyone to progress through a room. The monsters follow a cursor which you as the player control with the left stick. Monsters will automatically avoid hazards such as fire but the player must carefully navigate the monsters around any attacks. When the player presses the right trigger, the monsters begin attacking the nearest object or enemy. However when attacking, monsters no longer will avoid hazards and may get caught in fire. This creates many situations in which the player must carefully determine when to attack. The player can summon new monsters to join their army by reaching a summoning portal or by spending money earned by killing larger enemies. A bulk of the strategy relies on choosing the appropriate unit for the room you are in. It may be wise to build crabs which are resistant to fire when you are struggling to get past a room full of flamethrower enemies or perhaps some speedy flys if you are having a hard time surrounding the foe.

The game is broken down into a number of levels each of which has several rooms to get through. Each level concludes with a “big” boss fight. I say big in quotes as the boss fights have a tendency to be very easy compared to the level itself. This I feel is one of the biggest problems with the game as it makes the boss fights pretty uneventful. Being someone whom tends to love boss fights, this is very disappointing. While the boss fights are pretty consistently easy, the levels themselves can be quite challenging at times. As a whole the games difficulty is pretty fair, however if you make a silly mistake in a room it can put you in a nearly impossible situation as you enter the next room. This is due to the fact that your army of monsters carries over from room to room, therefore having a hard time in one room leaves you with a small army as you enter the next room. Inversely a level can feel substantially easier if you happened to do unusually well at the start as you will have a large army that continuously grows. This system results in a game which difficulty lends itself to extremes, where it will feel really frustrating or really easy in most situations.

Possibly the biggest positive to the game is it creates a system that encourages replayability. The game does this in several ways. The first most obvious way is the game has branching level paths. In between levels you will frequently be given two different paths you may follow each of which leads to its own unique level. Therefore if you want to see all the levels and bosses you will have to play through the game multiple times. The other major way the game encourages replaying is through the multiple acolytes the player may choose from. Each acolyte has different monsters you start each level with as well as a unique ability that alters the gameplay. These abilities actually tend to grant pretty drastically different experiences. For example one acolyte only gets three random choices for monsters each time he tries to summon a new one rather than the full selection of 15+ monsters. This is balanced however by giving a random chance of rare “cheat cards” appearing when summoning which tend to be incredibly useful abilities. Another acolyte has the ability that the smaller their army size, the more powerful the individual monsters become. Creating an interesting balance of building a sizeable enough army to catch the foes, while not so big that the ability becomes a hindrance.

The Ranking

Overall the game was a pretty enjoyable experience but likely isn’t one I would go out of my way to recommend to people. That being said I tend not to be a huge fan of the strategy genre so the fact that the game held my attention at all should be a pretty notable compliment. But these lists aren’t intended to be an “objective analysis” but rather an analysis of my personal enjoyment of the game. Therefore this game is getting placed at the current bottom of the Horror list at rank #11. Please keep in mind though, that I have yet to rank a game that I genuinely felt was bad, so please don’t avoid this game due to it being at the bottom of the Horror list. These have all been enjoyable games thus far.

Console: Xbox One. Time to Beat: 6 hours 11 minutes 30 seconds.

How can you play “Sea Salt?”

Sea Salt is currently available on Xbox Game Pass. However, it is leaving Game Pass at the end of the month. It is also available for purchase from the Xbox store.

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