Schiffbruch (German for "Shipwreck") is a great survival simulation/strategy/adventure game similar to Robinson's Requiem. The premise is as follows: you are stranded on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific. Your job, naturally, is to explore your surroundings, find food and water, build a hut, and finally attract attention so you can be saved. The game is played from a top-down isometric perspective, similar to Rome: Pathway to Power (another fun adventure/strategy hybrid I really enjoy). |
Graphically, the game looks a bit amateurish, with a confusing number of command icons, although you can tell what each icon does by hovering your mouse over it and looking at the bottom status bar. Your alter ego is quite small, and some features of the terrain aren't easy to spot: I had trouble identifying objects like plants you can interact with, and background scenery.
Fortunately, the gameplay of Schiffbruch is excellent. As a survival sim, it's reasonably realistic: you will have to keep an eye on the three indicators: health, water and food. Time passes when you do something, and you must sleep at night. Similar to typical adventure games, you have an inventory to store objects, and will have to combine them to make new useful tools.
Your ultimate goal in the game is to be rescued. Your chances of being seen by a passing plane (which you cannot see) is represented by the life preserver on the upper right. This percentage shows you the probability of being saved on that day. You can increase your chances by for example making S.O.S. signs with stones. There are many surprises for you to discover, from new tools to unexpected discoveries (hint: sail around the island in a boat once you've managed to build it for a neat surprise).
Overall, Schiffbruch is a fun little game that combines an interesting premise that unfortunately isn’t used nearly enough in games, reasonable realism, and fun elements of adventure, strategy, and simulation. If you like ultra-realistic survival sims such as Deus and Robinson’s Requiem but feel their difficulty is too frustrating, give Schiffbruch a try. Previously German only, the game has been translated into English :) Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs