No wind in this one's sails
An early and rather bold attempt to recreate the thrills of battling on the oceans, High Seas is a simple enough little game but one which sadly doesn't quite live up its to ambition, thanks to several rather unfortunate niggles. The basic premise is straightforward enough and requires players to head out on to the seas with the simple aim of engaging in one-on-one combat with a rival. You begin by creating a ship, where you select things like your crew, guns and the sturdiness of the hull and then choose your opponent, before heading out into the briny blue. It all sounds intriguing enough but sadly High Seas fails on so many counts that it cannot be considered as anything more than a brave disaster. While the controls are adequate, there is a lack of authenticity which is disappointing but what is even worse is the sheer lack of playability. It's all just too convoluted and awkward to be considered entertaining or enjoyable, with gameplay that is more mystifying than actually fun. Battles get bogged down pretty quickly but without any real evidence of progression or casualties and the enjoyment is sucked out of things rather too swiftly than ought to be the case. The graphics are understandably simple with little more than wide expanses of blue and some chunky ships to trouble your eyes but fare better than the gameplay unfortunately and really this shows what a disappointment the game is. The premise is intriguing but the execution lets it all down and if you're after some strategy thrills set on the ocean, then you'd be better off with Ancient Art of War at Sea
, which despite being even older than High Seas, is actually a much finer game.