Sometimes all you need is a few keywords (oh, hey Google
). And in this instance from indie dev Black Salt Games
and publisher Team 17
it was “eldritch fishing sim” that first caught our attention. Fast forward a bit of time (and bank it), and we’ve been dredging up a slew of thoughts on the studio’s debut original IP, Dredge
, a game that definitely delivers on the cosmic horror and eldritch promise to serve up an atmospheric horror experience for the ages.
And what makes it so triumphant is that it’s not *really* a horror, per se. Rather, it presents as such so that your mind works overtime to make it an horrific experience (particularly at night), despite their being no gore, no specific big bads, and certainly no tentac… oh, wait.
Here’s a snippet:
All of this is accompanied by what could be described as a series of tight mini-games that make a whole, and in return represent a fantastic gameplay loop. Fishing is mostly what you do, but there is, of course, the titular task that sees you gathering resources and lost treasures from the myriad shipwrecks that have fallen prey to the many islands and rocky crags of this world. Or, more recently, that eerie fog. Fishing and dredging are all tied to a circular, timed input, though they’re disparate in how they play. Once you upgrade your boat you can also add nets for trawling that effectively gather bounty for you in the background while you go about your seafaring, which winds up being really handy. There’s also crab pots, which is a different lean on fishing itself, but is just as fun when seeking the craziest ones from the deep. Most of this is gated behind biome and water-type access, however, which requires upgrades, and these require resources and money.
Click here for our full Dredge review
There’s also a neat economy built around time. If you don’t move, time stands still. It only advances when you travel or are doing something, such as fishing. In addition, upgrades and repairs and more while docked also ‘cost’ time, and you’ll often need to sleep to avoid traveling at night -- the most dangerous time. But there are rewards for the adventurous, but equally those who don’t get much sleep. Well… they see things ‘neath the waves.