Not gonna lie, Dread Nautical nearly passed me by without a second look. But when I did take a second look, it was the dope soundtrack that caught me off guard. Seriously, play it once just to hear Sena Dagadu perform her "You No Ready." No idea how this song slid right under my radar for the past three years. I blame you guys.
After that, then maybe you can take in the bright but moody polygonal visuals that distract from a more sinister-sounding plot. Aboard the cruise ship Hope (ugh, rough time to be on a cruise ship nowadays), Dread Nautical takes a "cartoonish—yet captivatingly eerie—tone" as a rogue's gallery of characters gets their roguelike on, with knives out, in a tactical turn-based RPG.
You've got loot pop-up bubbles, you've got dialogue trees that look like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? answers, and you've got long shadows cast across isometric cabins and cruise line rooms.
Dread Nautical is coming April 29 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and the Epic Games Store on PC. I don't know who told Zen Studios they could start making stuff besides pinball tables, but I'm excited that they've been branching out in recent years.
San Francisco, CA – March 23, 2020 – Zen Studios is excited to announce that their horror-themed, strategy RPG is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Epic Game Store in a scant few weeks on April 29, 2020. A tactical, turn-based RPG with roguelike elements, Dread Nautical combines immersive strategic gameplay with a charming—yet captivatingly eerie—atmosphere, making for one of the most unique videogame releases of the year.
Mysterious, supernatural forces have overwhelmed the luxury cruise liner known as the Hope with malevolent monstrosities aimed to wipe out any guest in their path. After choosing one of four unique characters, players will traverse twenty, randomly generated decks of the ship, seeking food and other supplies. Along the way, they’ll encounter 11 other colorful survivors, who may choose to join the fight based on what the player input and savvy social interaction. Properly planning which companions to bring, how they attack, and what skills to upgrade are the keys to escaping this “vacation” alive.
“The release of Dread Nautical to consoles and PC speaks to Zen Studios’ pursuit of developing a broad range of well-polished games to redefine our studio as more than just Pinball Wizards. We’re proud of everything we’ve brought to the pinball space, but are ready to take on new challenges in the broader gaming space”, says Mel Kirk, Vice President of Publishing. “More importantly, we are incredibly excited to allow our dev teams the freedom to create games they want to play, including titles in the turn-based RPG genre like Operencia: The Stolen Sun and CastleStorm II.”