Uncharted Waters FI

SNES A Day 148: Uncharted Waters


Approximate Release Month: January 1993
Genre: Strategy
Developer: Koei
Publisher: Koei

I feel lost at sea with Uncharted Waters.

I’m not even saying this to slam the game. Uncharted Waters is intense. It tosses the player into the 16th century during the height of the European Age of Discovery and expects you to know what to do. The times I tried to play I loaded my ship with food and water and set sail for, well, something interesting. I never found anything. Well, I found towns that all look exactly the same. That’s something. But the sailing is so slow that I don’t know how much more open seas exploration I could take.

If I wanted to, I could buy goods at one port and check the others and see where I can sell the goods for a profit. But what’s the point? What would I do with the money? That’s where Uncharted Waters falls apart for me. At least in Koei’s other strategy games, there were the obvious goals to beat up every army and take control of all territory. Gemfire and Romance of the Three Kingdoms II were ridiculously complicated in the moment-to-moment gameplay, but at least they led to something. Uncharted Waters is easy to play, but I don’t know what it really wants me to do.

I didn’t play much of Uncharted Waters. Even though I liked the graphics and the real-world setting, it still falls into the familiar Koei trap of being too much work to be fun. The series is still around today and later games are likely a better choice to test your seaworthiness.

Tomorrow: I’ve never seen the movie Cool World is based on. It doesn’t look great.

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