Windward, developed by Tasharen Entertainment, is a overhead sailing game in which you control a solo ship in a randomly generated sandbox. It’s a fairly simple title that’s surprisingly calming, but it’s built with the idea of being a bit of a time sink. Unfortunately, that idea is not entirely realized.
The foundation of the gameplay leans on what turns out is a bunch of fetch quests. The inventory management requires a deal of strategy as you attempt to make your trading path as profitable as possible. Upgrading your ships cargo space is crucial to your trading prowess as a captain. The more you can carry, the more efficient you can be on your longer journeys.
Combat is in place as well, but not so much the focus except for when you enter a certain type of instance. Within the structure of the main game, you’ll equip your ship simply to survive as you continue to trade and gain control of new areas.
The sandbox that you play in can be different each time you play. Random map and placement at the start don’t help or hinder the experience much, just adding variety in an aesthetic sense and forces you to adjust trading routes accordingly.
The audio/visual experience is very calming, which makes the combat all the more jarring when it happens. Nevertheless, the water is well done and the sound effects/music are quite soothing. Ultimately, this is the strength of the game. For all its faults, Windward is still a decent experience at its price that can be relaxing and a good deviance from other games.
This review is based on a digital copy of Windward for Steam provided by Tasharen Entertainment.