The Great Whale Road (PC) Review

By Thom Compton 04.04.2017

Review for The Great Whale Road on PC

Text adventures, resource management, and turn-based RPGs are, when really thought about it, very similar. They all focus on making decisions that will plague the player for hours to come. The Great Whale Road manages to balance all three of these things fairly well, but the road has some obvious bumps.

The Great Whale Road starts off asking players to pick a faction to join. As of right now, only one of the three is available, which is honestly fine. After a brief introduction, it is time to then select your starting player. From here, the game really begins, and there's a lot of things happening at once.

Immediately, players will begin to make choices. Set up like a traditional text adventure, everything from your plan to how your small town feels about things are judged by these decisions. After completing the tutorial battle, points can be allocated to various attributes of the player's village. These are interesting, as they mainly act as passive buffs to help the village. From villager happiness to how much food the village will be able to produce, you will want to make sure you divvy up the points logically.

As the village thrives, more resources will be gained to take on your adventures. Your ship starts out not being able to carry much, but you won't need a lot early on. After setting sail, decisions will continue to be made that impact on the crew. These decisions manage to actually make sense, causing the crew to grow tired when they are pushed harder. Instead of using ambiguous language, like "Be stern," the verbiage actually makes it easy to see how the situation may be impacted before making it.

Screenshot for The Great Whale Road on PC

There are tons of things to do around the world, from training, to visiting taverns and various stores. Players will continue to notice that the text-based decision making of The Great Whale Road is easily its most engaging concept. The resource management doesn't always seem very important, and is somewhat relegated to the background. Don't misconstrue that, as it is important. It's kind of fun trading with NPCs, and it definitely feels weighty. However, it just doesn't feel like you could do real damage by not managing better. For some, knowing they won't have to restart two hours in because they didn't grab enough food will come as a blessing, but it takes a bit of the bite out of the experience. It doesn't ruin it by any means; it simply feels a bit superfluous from time to time.

The thing that does do damage to the overall experience is the turn-based combat. Players will begin each battle with just their leader on the field. You can add players as you feel, and then you will proceed with your turn. On your turn, you can defend, fight, set your character to attack any approaching characters, or move. All of these things work out just fine, until the combat actually gets started.


 
It will be found that enemies will often just not take damage from attacks. This rarely works the other way around, as enemies often lay into you harder than you can lay into them. They move so slowly, though, it's like waiting for a feather to land in your hand that you didn't know had spikes on it. The enemies' turns run slowly and they hit well, though not hard. It would be a bad decision to view the enemies as difficult to kill; they just seem more adept than you.

The game is very pretty on the eyes, looking a bit like The Banner Saga, though not quite as well refined. The music is equally fun and engaging, and fits the game perfectly. Unfortunately, this leaves what the whole experience is, and it doesn't manage to hit greatness. Fortunately, it's still a good deal of fun when it plays to its strengths: mainly its text-based gameplay and resource management. Beyond that, everything else is just digging through okay to moderately interesting combat that never feels engaging enough to really write home about.

Screenshot for The Great Whale Road on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The Great Whale Road manages to balance its many moving parts just fine; it's just that one of those parts doesn't hold up its own weight very well. When it's about progressing the story, or keeping your village going, this game feels really good. Combat doesn't manage to hold itself up to that same standard, and fails to feel like anything other than an add-on.

Developer

Sunburned Games

Publisher

Sunburned Games

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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