This Trash Sailors preview is based on the demo build available to all on Steam. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can currently download for free and try yourself. Look out for the full review in due course.
Trash Sailors is a trashy pirate adventure. That’s not a slur on this fine game, but that really is the premise: sail the Seven Seas, and other ocean cliches, then build and repair your ship as you attempt to navigate a deluge of garbage.
Trash Sailors Preview – PC via Steam
Suitable for up to four players in co-op, the goal is primarily survival. You could try and wing it, putting your faith into being carried by the sea, but even if that did work, you have to contend with tsunamis, crocodiles, toxic clouds and, of course, pirates.
The objective is to fish out the trash and recycle the parts to rebuild your ship and use any surplus rubbish to burn as fuel. At the start of the stages, you need to rebuild the front sections and reinforce those parts.
This isn’t compulsory, but the more robust your ship is, the likelihood is of survival. Rebuilding your ship is a case of firing either a harpoon or net out into the waves and haul in the required trash.
While you could snatch and grab everything, the optimal trash is displayed at the bottom of the screen like a pseudo fruit machine; get the items as shown (not necessarily in order), and the parts are produced much swiftly.
By the way, when you read ‘ship’, it’s more like a raft with a couple of machine parts and a mast.
When ready, the little compactor machine on deck will state how many parts you have available – hit the switch and a cube of recycled parts are released which you can use to reinforce your vessel or prepare the cannons if equipped.
Having a super tight sailing fortress is all very well, but if you can’t move, what’s the point? The remaining trash is fed into the engine as fuel, and after a couple of hits, it starts up, and you’re propelled forward at a leisurely pace.
You can’t control the speed of the ship, but you can steer it with one crew member, but the handling drastically improves if you assign two crew members to steer.
All Plain Sailing
Now’s the time to say ‘well, it ain’t all plain sailing’ as you’ll have to avoid plenty of obstacles (the debris you can collect doesn’t cause damage). Expect to see icebergs, steel structures and trees.
With the guns, you can destroy what’s at the front or to the sides, but if you don’t have them equipped or they’ve been destroyed, you’ll need to evade these hazards, as well as the nasties lurking in the watery depths.
Crocodiles in the first stage were amusing as they’ll attack your ship and parts will continue to break (eventually sinking and a game over), unless you hit them with your oars or jump on them. It’s the same for invading pirates.
Again, you can try and wing it and reach the end, but as there isn’t any HUD to show how far you are from the goal, you have to apply an ongoing strategy of refuelling, repairing your ship and fending off your attackers and hope for the best.
The Trash Sailors screenshots have had been drooling since I first saw them some months ago. In application, they don’t disappoint – the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and they’re animated beautifully.
As for the controls, they’re a little clumsy at times, but that’s probably down to the multitasking side of things: Trash Sailors really is best as a co-op game with either another player and as mentioned at the start, you can play with up to four players locally or online.
Though it’s playable as a solo effort as you control both members of the crew (there’s no AI involved), switching back and forth to the crew member piloting the ship then either operating the guns or salvaging trash is pretty taxing – it’s like Overcooked on the waves. It’s doable but much better with another salty sea dog, a.k.a. mate.
Trash Sailors is out later this year, but no date has been specified. What do you do? Download the demo now – it’s a no-brainer and really worth the play. Make sure you wishlist it too.