There's a painfully compulsive rhythm to Seabeard, a sweet grind that some will find charming and others will find utterly pointless.
It's a game about collecting resources, completing little quests here and there to make bobble-headed characters give you things, and building a pirate island back to its former glory.
But it's very much in for the long haul. Getting anything done takes a good chunk of time, and while you can buy in-game currency to speed things up, it sort of feels like missing the point.
And that's the problem. Seabeard is twee and delightful on the one hand, and on the other an exercise in free to play purchase loops and heady capitalism.Set sail
You'll spend most of your time pottering around the variety of islands that make up the game world searching for things. You might need some driftwood to build a house, or some fish to sell at your fish stall.
There are two ways to travel between islands. The first is on an energy system and sees you completing a mini-game. These range from shooting range challenges to little races. Do well and you'll be rewarded.
The other is a fast-travel option that lets you skip the mini-game, and the rare reward it promises, and just pootle along to wherever it is you fancy going.
It means that when you run out of energy, you can still keep playing the game. And after having a wander around your destination you'll probably find you've got some more boat-juice and can go fire a cannon at a tentacle monster again.Squid attack
There's certainly plenty to do, and you'll have five or more quests and side quests on the go at any given time. But a lot of them are pretty similar.
You need to shake trees for apples, ruffle bushes for worms, or scavenge beaches for driftwood.
This all boils down to spotting the thing that you're looking and then tapping on it. Fishing offers a little variety – you end up in a battle with the fish once you've snagged it, with a reel appearing on the screen.
Everything looks sumptuous, from the rolling waves of the sea to the chunky trees and cute scampering cows, and that makes stomping around looking for stuff that little bit more exciting.
A few hours into the game you'll learn to sword fight as well, which lets you access areas you used to just run away from.
You can speed almost anything up by throwing some currency at it. Need to find a rare apple? Just pay some pearls and you'll get one.
Don't want to wait three hours for that bridge to be built? Throw some pearls at the builders and they'll finish it sharpish.
If that's how you like to play then it's not too much trouble, but if you're the sort who walks away as soon as a wait-timer pops up you're likely to do just that.Damp-ish
Seabeard at its best is bright and breezy. You can dip in and play for a few minutes, grab some apples, sell some fish, and then wander off and do something else.
But it never really bursts into life. Its grind is a little too stretched out, its reward structure not quite generous enough at the start to really make you long for more.
This isn't quite the Nintendo-style adventure that some people might have wished for, but it's entertaining enough if you don't mind waiting or paying.
Want more? Check out our growing collection of Seabeard articles!