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The Ship

by Sotiris Niarchos

Pirates, scifi, mystery, puzzles, achievements
2023

(based on 7 ratings)
2 reviews

About the Story

An interactive novel about reaching out to others and finding oneself

It is the year 1719. A Captain embarks on an extraordinary voyage into the unknown, guided solely by a cryptic poem passed down as an unexpected family heirloom. A fabled promised land beckons, but as the Captain inches closer to their elusive destination, a series of extraordinary events unfold, prompting a profound reevaluation of identity and potential. Do they really know who they are? Who they could have been? What truly awaits at the journey's end? And what formidable challenges must the Captain surmount to reach it?

Embark on a journey through a meticulously crafted universe teeming with enthralling characters and a richly developed world. Prepare to unravel a unique mystery with intricate puzzles, lifelike personalities, each with a different story to tell, and a tapestry of interconnected events. Will you manage to piece together the greater picture? Are you prepared for what or who you'll find at the end of the line? Or for what comes after?

Content warning: strong language, violence


Game Details


Awards

43rd Place - 29th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2023)

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Number of Reviews: 2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Game set in two worlds, with long, complex graphical puzzles, November 22, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: about 2 hours

This game has a few different twists, but Iíll try to avoid spoilers the best I can.

This is a choice-based game, and it is quite extensive. It took me right around the two hour mark to complete. Itís reminiscent of Gruescript in a sense, with different locations you can click to and an inventory to use. However, the inventory only shows up every now and then in-game.

While it grows more complex, it feels fair to say that gameplay revolves around a ship captain walking around the ship, trying to understand a mysterious poem given by ancestors and talking to others on the ship.

Storywise, itís all about navigation and pushing to the unknown. There are different books that give you lore about the world. The pirates in the game all curse, presumably for verisimilitude, but for some reason the swearing was written exactly the way the 14 yr old boys in my school swear so I kept picturing very young pirates.

Many of the characters have tragic backstories. There are several opportunities to show mercy or justice and to change your relationship with others.

The writing overall was adventurous and dramatic. Near the end, there were a few different narrative threads that came together, but Iím not sure how I felt about the resolution. I was left with more questions than answers.

There were graphical puzzles in the game as well. At first, they fit well into the flow of the story, providing simple distractions along the main journey. Near the end, though, there were so many puzzles of such quantity that by the time I returned to the story I had forgotten much of what had happened. While I do enjoy graphical puzzles from time to time, they lack many of the features Iíve come to enjoy in text based fiction and thus werenít quite as enjoyable to me.

The level of craftsmanship in the UI and puzzles was very high; the author clearly has a good grasp of visual design and event-based programming.

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Distracting puzzles, November 22, 2023
by manonamora
Related reviews: ifcomp

The Ship is a hypertext puzzle game, following two interconnected stories of captains, each looking for a specific location. The game includes different kinds of puzzles, from visual ones to more fetch-quest like, and achievements. I completed 3 chapters out of 7.

I don't know why I had a hard time getting into the game, it has all the stuff I like: pirates, some sci-fi elements, some puzzles, some fun characters with interesting or funny backstories... Mixing genres is usually so much fun, and drawing parallels between storylines is usually intriguing (has me on the edge of my seat). But something just didn't click with this game.

I don't think there was one reason for why it didn't work (for me), but more of a combination of frictions with the story or the gameplay that resulted in not enjoying as much as I thought I would have. I could see where it was going with the tropes of the characters and the similar elements between the captains, so it felt a bit frustrating.
I ended up relating quite a bit with the first captain from the start of the game.

Though there were bits of humour, I found most of the prose a bit dull and dry (more so in the sci-fi section than the pirate one). The dialogues were more palatable, especially with the more cookie crew members (they had some funny bits, playing the tropes and such). The pace was a bit slow, and in conversations lore-dumpy with the long paragraphs.

Still, I pushed onward, discussed with the different fun characters on board, ran around the ship to get things rolling, tried to solve the puzzles and put stuff back into order... I followed what the game wanted from me, but it still didn't grab me. After reaching the navigation puzzle, I stopped. It's a neat puzzle, in itself, but too many to levels solve at once to continue the story.

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