Don't Sink (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 12.01.2019

Review for Don

Studio Eris is combining some of the most well-loved elements of gaming. Old school, 8-bit graphics, survival games, and pirates. This life of a pirate isn't all about pillaging and privateering, though, this is a survival and management sim, where the Captain of the ship is also the governor of the island; not just crafting a crew, but also creating a new home for freebooters. Then micromanaging both. It's Don't Sink for the Switch.

Crafting a simple pixelated is the initial step to becoming a cunning corsair. After docking onto the port of an abandoned little island dubbed Crampton, the first steps are to… build and run a town? Not really the most familiar situation for a freebooter. This little island needs the core basics, and that's the very first thing to work towards. Building up a tavern, an inn, a general store, and a port for the ship. Each of the amenities is key to progressing, as survival itself is a key part of the game. Not just for the custom Captain, but for his crew, his ship, and his people.

A crew needs food and water, a ship needs repairs. Hence a general store, a port, an inn. This has to be done at other islands at first, as after landing on Crampton the Skipper doesn't have sufficient coin to actually establish their new home. To get some cash, the Captain has to embark on simple little quests. There's a series of islands to travel between, and these islands have pixelated persons pining for their pleas to be answered. These are simplistic little quests, heading off to deliver items, speaking with other NPCs, digging up buried treasure, and attacking enemy ships. Travel, a little combat, a little exploring. Nothing new here.

Screenshot for Don't Sink on Nintendo Switch

The problem is the quests and combat are uninspired. The ship combat basically consists of either attacking, fleeing, repairing, or simply boarding. With boarding the enemy ship, a damn near sure-fire way to overcome ships of much greater power is to just mash attacks, as there's little resistance. The quests meanwhile basically come down to travel to a different island, click once, done.

There's no real story to speak of either, sure there's some funny writing, with some side-quests that lead to bigger things, but there's not a big narrative arching over the entire game to truly get invested. It's just travelling from island to island, building up enough cash to upgrade the ship, hire more crew, and purchase the necessary materials to survive. Eventually, other islands can be attacked and conquered, and each will bring new challenges and requirements to govern. Well, people seem to never really be happy.

Screenshot for Don't Sink on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


The core of the gameplay is basically fetch quests occasionally broken up with uninspired combat sections on the seas. It's all quite dull and repetitive. It's trying to thrive on its charming style and the usual addictive nature of survival games, but even that isn't enough. In addition, there are two to three hours of gameplay here to fully complete the game. It's hardly fun for even that briefest of time.


Sebastian Nigro







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

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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