Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is making a comeback on the Nintendo Switch after being originally released in 2013 on iOS. Due to never playing this title before on iOS I was worried this would be a terrible port of a phone game, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The game starts out with your father heading off to take care of a beast which has been plaguing the land, Oceanhorn. Your father leaves you a letter which implies he wants you to go on a quest to find him, and off we go. We all know there’s nobody better to save the day than a little 10 year old looking kid. So let’s jump right into the functionality of Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas.
The controls function very similarly to other action/RPG/exploration games. You eventually get your basic sword/shield combo which can be used to attack or block enemies attacks. Players can also throw/break boxes, pots, and weeds which may drop resources. You also eventually unlock quite a lot of useful tools including: bombs, spells, a bow and arrow, and more. Starting to sound a lot like a Zelda game? That’s because it feels a lot like one. All joking aside, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is not a generic knock off. Oceanhorn has it’s own little vibe to it which makes it enjoyable in it’s own way. One thing which may throw people off is the fact that your character can NOT jump. This felt odd at first, but I eventually got used to it.
Players also have the ability to sail to the other islands in the area in their own personal boat. The concept is simple, select an island and off you go. During the trip you can’t steer the boat, but you can shoot a nifty gun to hit enemies and prevent yourself from running into debris.
In regards to graphics, Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas looks great in portable and console mode. The game runs at 1080p and 60 FPS in docked mode which is plenty. The visuals look slightly outdated in some areas, but it suffices. In-game music is very fitting for each area and never got annoying. It had that classic vibe this type of game needs.
One flaw I found was the game was glitch-y in some areas. Throwing barrels would sometimes get them lodged in the wall, and I even found myself able to jump behind bookcases or walk halfway inside of closed doors. This was not a major issue or a game breaker, but the game would look more polished with these issues fixed. I was also somewhat annoyed at the fact that if you pull out a bomb, there is no way to put it back in your pocket. I wasted quite a bit of bombs this way which is frustrating when you need them.
Enemies are also spread all throughout each island which is great. These enemies are normally very simple to kill, but they do provide XP which allow your player to level up. Each level up provides an improvement to your player which is satisfying. XP, coins, and more can also be found throughout plenty of chests scattered across each island. Heart pieces can also be found which can be used to give your player more health. Early on I felt the boss fights were very very easy, the last two fights were more satisfying.
Is Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas really worth $14.99 to buy on the Nintendo Switch? The answer is a huge YES. This is one of the best priced games on the eShop currently. There is more than enough content here to enjoy for a measly $14.99. I personally put a good 12 hours into Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas so far, and that was with me rushing through some parts for review purposes. I plan on going back through each area to pick up the stuff I missed. So you’re looking at a good 15-20 hour game for a competition-ist, and a 10-15 hour game for someone rushing through.
The story mode is well worth playing through, there is plenty to explore, and each area has it’s own vibe to it. If you’re on a tight gaming budget but need something new in your library, it’s hard to go wrong with Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas. The only downfalls to keep in mind is the fact the game has some minor bugs/glitches. I also would have liked to seen more Nintendo Switch features utilized such as HD rumble, and the option for motion controls possibly.