Sail Forth – A Lighthearted, Colorful Sailing Adventure Through a Post-Apocalyptic Earth!

“‘When two drifters meet, something needs to be traded.’ ‘I know the Code, but I’ll give this to you for free’ ‘Nothing is free in the Waterworld’.” – Waterworld (1995)

Developer: Festive Vector
Released: 21st December 2022
Price: €19,50

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Switch, PS4, PS5, XB1, XB Series X/S
Available on: Nintendo Store, PS Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, Epic Store
Engine: Unity


  • Solid variety of activities that stays fresh for a long time.
  • Good amount of different weapons to make custom ship builds with, even if some categories are simply straight upgrades of others.
  • Fun combat system that allows a variety of approaches and tactics, but at the same time stays intuitive and fast-paced, not too cumbersome.
  • Simple but appropriate art style that, more than a few times, makes room for surprisingly beautiful landscapes and locations.


  • Other ships in your fleet can’t be issued orders (except manual control) and their AI is incompetent / too basic most of the time, causing frustration and mishaps.
  • Vessel visual customization is limited to color, name and sail symbols only, most of which are barred behind obscure/rare collectables.
  • Most of the time your fleet will be overpowered compared to the enemy: you’ll rarely, if ever, find a worthy challenge… especially later on.
  • Secondary and random quests become worthless in late-game due to reward scaling being miserable compared to how much stuff you’ll have by that point.

Bugs & Issues

  • In some cases, quest givers may not spawn correctly.
  • Ship crew count can rarely go above max limit and trigger a crash upon boarding.

Machine Specs

  • 3900X
  • 2080Ti
  • 32GB RAM
  • SSD
  • 1440p

Content & Replay Value

It took me around 28 hours to complete Sail Forth, taking extra time to clear all the side missions I could find and explore each area accurately (without getting all collectibles, though). There isn’t a reason to replay once finished, given the linear nature of its content.

Is It Worth Buying?

The base price of 19,50€ is more than fair for this amount of content and quality. I can recommend buying even without a discount.

Verdict – Good

A lighthearted and well-made open-world sailing adventure that has enough content and variety to keep interest up until the end, however it never gives a real challenge and is somewhat bugged in the later chapters.

sail forth boarding
Boarding enemy vessels is risky business and partially tied to luck; however, in case of success, you may choose to capture the entire ship.

Sail Forth – In-Depth Analysis

Setting & Writing

Ever watched Waterworld? If not, you should. Imagine a setting like that, but injected with a good dose of colors, light-heartedness and considerably less misery; Sail Forth in fact takes place in a post-eco-apocalyptic world, almost totally flooded. With civilization reverted back to the early ages of sailing (with some exceptions), you’ll start from a dismal skiff and try to build your very own fleet, always guided by the mysterious Northstar, which seems to have your destiny all planned out.

The writing style is lighthearted and cheerful but doesn’t shy away from more serious or sweet-sour moments when they’re due. It doesn’t shoe-horn unicorns and rainbows down your throat, but maintains a level of comedy and ‘laid-backness’ that won’t upset those who aren’t a fan of such a style. There’s a good amount of lore both from direct and indirect narration, and several memorable characters – however don’t expect at any point a deep or particularly interesting plot, which itself falls into the ‘manifest destiny’ trope a bit too easily.

sail forth enemy spotted
Random events and other ships populate each area, and may even respawn given enough time.

Exploration & Collectibles

Sail Forth’s open-world structure develops through a series of interconnected archipelagos spacing through diverse biomes, like tropical islands or polar regions. Each of them hosts pre-determined and random events such as merchant rescues, quests, challenges, battles and much more. Random loot, recruits for the crew, collectables and even whole abandoned ships can be found if you explore well enough, so the attentive sailor will be rewarded for investing extra time looking around. If something noteworthy comes close enough, your map will be updated as a consequence.

A plethora of collectables await completionists and achievement hunters: fish that can only be caught at specific times, weather conditions and locations and relics hidden in obscure corners will surely keep you busy for many extra hours… if you’re interested.

Ships, Crew Management & Research

You’ll need bigger and better ships to balance out the increasing threats of farther islands. For that purpose you can spend Lumber (currency) at a Ship Shop to build a vessel from the blueprints collected so far, or for the more daring, board an enemy vessel and take it as your own… if your crew isn’t kicked out of the deck by a stronger one. Hiring random vessels is also possible but terribly expensive and usually not worth the money.

Your crew, depending on their past faction affiliation, gives passive bonuses. For instance, Skull Pirates improve boarding power, Tekk Clan members increase damage, and so forth. You may choose to stack the same bonus with matching members, or spread them out for a more versatile build. Alongside accessories that give their own passive bonuses, there’s a good variety of possible configurations for your fleet.

Doc Zisso, science enthusiast, will offer you new blueprints for weapons and accessories in exchange for certain exotic, rare materials, making these new tools available at all shops once unlocked. To be honest,this mechanic is redundant because you get so much, better quality stuff from enemy vessels, that researching and buying it isn’t even needed anymore, especially in late-game.

Combat System & Bosses

Each ship can be equipped with a variety of murder tools like cannons, ballistas, gatlings and even magic weapons. Carefully consider range, reload times, damage and weight, then outfit your vessels as you prefer to suit your playstyle. Battles are broadside exchanges of lead, fire, arrows and more, inevitably leading to one ship’s demise, consequently dropping loot, crew members and currency for the victor. In case, you’ll be able to fully recover lost vessels for a price at a shipyard, so no worries. Wind and weather have a big impact on battles as well, stalling ships or creating conditions that make battles much harder at times, like rogue waves to name one.

Bosses usually have multiple phases and a specific weak spot to hit in order to deal damage. Exceptions made for the slightly more challenging final fight, bosses won’t be much epic or difficult if you’re properly geared – their damage output is just too low, and unlimited repairs as long as you have cash is a bit OP during such fights. The repair system should be limited and balanced better, as at some point you’ll have so much cash that your fleet will be basically unsinkable due to repairs spam.

sail forth monster
Not only pirates, but also fearsome sea monsters and supernatural beings will be on your path from time to time.

Quests & Challenges

Quests usually involve fetching materials, killing enemies or delivering cargo from point A to point B. There are some variations to these basic archetypes, and the rewards are good until mid-late game, so yes they’re worth doing just don’t expect amazing experiences from them.

Challenges feature a shooting course rewarding skillful piloting and shooting, races against the fabled Deep Six, masters of races, and mystical experiences with the Light Keepers, engaging in different rituals to discover the mysteries of the universe. All of these activities give a much needed variation to the main loop, are interesting and fun to do – and quite the challenge too, in some cases.

If you liked this game, you might also enjoy …
Here Be Dragons | Old Man’s Journey | Hazel Sky

Did you like this article? Consider supporting Indie Hive through Patreon! Patrons receive an early access article on Sundays!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Reply