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 on the menu, 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 indicator: health, water, and food. Needless to say, it your health will drop if you spend a long time without eating or drinking, and you'll die when your health reaches zero. Time passes when you do something, and you must sleep at night (so you will have to time your actions so that you'll end up inside your hut at 6 pm).
Similar to typical adventure games, you have an inventory to store objects, and will have to combine them to make new useful tools (for example, an axe will help you cut down trees to make housing).
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 shown at the upper right of the screen. This percentage shows you the probability of being saved on that day. You can increase your chances, for example, by making S.O.S. signs with stones. One of the things that make Shiffbruch a lot of fun is that there are many surprises for you to discover, from making new tools to making new 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. It’s a fun and refreshing game that will keep you entertained for days. Previously German only, the game has been translated into English :) Two thumbs up!
Reviewed by: Underdogs