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Hands-On: Narrows Is A Pirate Adventure With Roguelike Elements

Hands-On: Narrows Is A Pirate Adventure With Roguelike Elements

We haven’t written about a whole lot of Google Daydream exclusive titles lately. That’s not for a lack of interest — the Pixel and Pixel 2 are excellent smartphones and the Daydream is a very intuitive platform — but it’s just due to a lack of new, exciting software coming out lately.

Narrows from Resolution Games (the same team behind Bait!) released last week however and actually does deliver on the promise of a game with some real meat on its bones, even if it still very much “feels” like a mobile VR title, as expected.

When you first start up Narrows you take on the role of the captain of a highly-successful crew of pirates. You embark into battle against a mysterious ghost ship that somehow resurrects itself after you destroy it and takes you out on the open seas. This is the catalyst for the game as a whole as you’re sent back to a starter ship to try and go from rags to riches.

The main menu is abreast with about a dozen different silhouetted vessels, each growing in size as you move from left to right, but they all cost a specific resource that I’ve got zero of at the moment. The starter ship aptly named “Wreck” it is, then.

When you’re in the game the overworld map lays before you on a tabletop and that’s when the roguelike elements become apparent. You’ve got resources like cannonballs, food, and gold to manage and you can move around the map from point-to-point resolving various types of encounters as you go.

One node could have an enemy ship to fight while another could have a sunken ship full of loot and treasure. There are also merchants and trader ships at which you can buy more food or cannonballs and even equip upgrades to your ship’s layout.

When you’re actually in a fight you view your ship from the side with the walls shaved off, similar to Fallout Shelter, and use the Daydream controller to select crewmembers and assign them duties. When your ship is hit, for example, rooms could catch fire in which case you’d assign the water-bucket-pouring-person to go attend to the catastrophe while other mates may be manning the canons.

Actually shooting the canons is a bit wonky since the Daydream controller only recognizes where you’re pointing and isn’t positionally tracked, but basically you arc your shot in an attempt to hit the enemy ship as it’s moving around in real-time. Eventually you’ll even have to fend off enemy pirates that try to board your ship too.

And that’s the whole gameplay loop more or less. You progress across the map, find loot, upgrade your ship, buy new ships, and try not to fail miserably. Since it has roguelike elements though, chances are you will die more often than you’d like — and that’s okay.

Narrows is now avaialble for Google Daydream for $9.99 on the Google Play Store. If you decide to check it out, let us know what you think down in the comments below!

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