Upon starting a new game you’ll have the choice of two game difficulties: Survivalist and Storyteller. Survivalist is for those players who want the full Windbound experience, and the options include: Only Items in “Held” Inventory Slots Are Retained Upon Death, Return to Chapter One Upon Death, and Standard Combat difficulty. Storyteller difficulty is for those players who want to focus on the Windbound story. The settings for this difficulty include: Full Inventory Is Retained Upon Death, Chapter Progress Is Retained Upon Death and Combat Difficulty is Reduced. You can change the difficulty setting at any time from within the Gameplay options menu.

There’s a storm raging on the open sea, the waves crashing against your raft as you try to stay afloat. You can see the dim lights fastened to the masts of other rafts as they ride the waves up and down. Suddenly a giant Nautilus appears, tentacles flaying about, when it comes crashing down upon your raft casting you into the rough sea. You slowly sink beneath the waves, when suddenly you reappear on the surface. The storm and waves have gone and everything is calm as you stand upon the water. Before you is a bright swirling light in the centre of some stone ruins in the shape of arches which rise from out of the calm sea.

You make your way towards the light; walking through the arches you find yourself washed up on a beach … The Lost Islands (Chapter One). You begin with a knife and there are some resources across the island to help you survive. However, you’re not going to be able to survive on the island for long. At the far side of the island there are some ancient ruins, with an object that has a blue crystal on one end positioned on what looks like an altar. After picking the object up it transforms into the Oar of the Ancestors, a mysterious, ornate and ancient oar which occasionally trembles in your hands as though something resides in it.

Now that you have this mysterious oar, you’ll have to put it to use. This means you’ll have to build a boat so that you can move between the islands. With limited resources you’re not going to be building any speedboats or luxury cruise liners for now, though; you’ll have to do with a canoe made of Thick Grass. You can find Thick Grass growing most places and it can be cut down using your knife. Once you have enough grass, head over to the shore and select the canoe in the crafting options and you’ll craft your first means of transport in this mysterious place.

When you collect resources, they may unlock new items for you to craft. There are also animals on the islands, some big and some cute ‘n cuddly. However, they will all provide resources when you ring their bloody necks: bone, silk thread, raw meat, skins, jaws and other wonderous creature parts. Sticks, wood, rocks, palm fronds, flowers, berries, fish, bamboo are just a few of the resources available for you to find and craft into new items.

On some of these islands stand these mysterious structures with blue crystals at the top. Climbing these structures to the top will reveal a Nautilus Key, three of which are required to unlock the exit to the current chapter. Once you collect a Nautilus key, a blue beam of light heads upwards to the heavens. There is also another light which can be seen somewhere in the distance, this is the exit point once you have collected all three keys. After going through the exit, you find yourself in a large courtyard with five sides and a pathway leading out of the courtyard, The First Crossing. A mural starts to appear on one of the sides which depicts a story of worship to the Nautilus.

At the end of the pathway is your canoe, which you’ll use to paddle your way over rolling waves under the stars. Eventually you spot a small plot of land with the same bright swirling light you first saw in the storm. On the bit of land are a couple of statues, where you can make an offering and have a blessing bestowed upon you. To make an offering you need Sea Shards, which can be found in blue jars once they’ve been smashed. You can also collect shards at any shrines you may come across on your journey. Once you’ve finished with your offering and blessing then head towards the light and you’ll find yourself in Chapter Two.

As you progress, you’ll encounter different creatures which will be far more deadly than the cute ‘n cuddly Bleenk. Luckily for you, you will be able to upgrade your grass canoe to a sturdier boat using bamboo and later wood. Adding sails will help you travel faster than paddling. However, it can be quite frustrating trying to keep the speed up if you don’t keep the wind in your sails. Also watch out for those reefs, especially in a grass canoe; hiding in those reefs are Crobsters which will jump on board and if left will destroy your boat. I did lose some items had stored on my boat from one of those little blighters the first time I came across them.

In the options you’ll find settings for Display (Full Screen, Resolution, Refresh Rate, V-Sync, Field of View and Brightness), Quality (Shader Quality, Shadow Resolution, Soft Shadows, Antialiasing, Anisotropic Filtering, Textures, LOD Quality, SSAO, Bloom and Volumetrics), Sound (Master, Sound Effects, Background Music and Creature Music Volume Sliders), Gameplay (Mouse Sensitivity, Aim Sensitivity, Invert Aim Y-Axis, Show Contextual Controls, Tutorials, Difficulty, Outfit and Vibration), Language (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Chinese).


Review written by Piston Smashed™ for! 


+ Great looking graphics
+ Enjoyable and relaxing game to play
+ Two game difficulties
+ Good music
+ Has achievements


- Sailing can be a bit frustrating
- No cards currently

Review Summary

Craft yourself a seaworthy boat, let the winds guide you as you explore and unlock the secrets of the Forbidden Islands in Windbound.

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Zeepond Rating: 8/10