On the 18th January NANTUCKET Launched on the PC. It is a game about Whaling, managing a whaling ship and crew, and eventually helping Captain Ahab in his search and conquest of (or defeat by) MOBY DICK, thus it is loosely based on the works of Herman Melville.
When playing the BETA I took the Tutorial instead of doing mu usual jump in with both feet and hope that experience will get me through. This was a good move as the Tutorial is all about which buttons to push and when, it's a lot easier to play once you know what you are doing. Beginning on the 1st of July 1818 the screen you are facing is showing you what passes as a Town in the game, there may be some changes in the final version but at this moment in time every Town that I have visited looks exactly the same. There is an Inn/Tavern where you can hire Crew - you need experience to hire them rather than gold pieces - there is a store where you can spend cash on Food, Water, Wood etc, Ship Repair and a Newspaper Boy. Buy a Newspaper and on the right you need to select the Jobs Tab.
If there is more than one Job available you can select which one, as long as you reach the requirements for it. The first Job available to you, in the Tutorial, is joining the ship the Pequod and meeting Captain Ahab. Then it's up to you to hire the crew (you have 3 points to begin with so you can hire a 3 pt a 2pt and 1pt or 3 x 1pt crew), there are different Crew types and depending on how you have chosen your character to be skilled, you need crew with sailing ability and definitely harpoon masterage. You can sack and hire whenever you are in harbour and have the necessary skill points.
There is a Shipwright who can sell you a ship, Large, Medium or Small, later in the game but to begin with stick the job in hand.
The first job is fairly easy but maybe costly by way of crew if you lose in combat against a whale; the next job in the same newspaper requires you to have 9th Level experience so you'll need to toughen up.
Sail Away and keep close to the shore when possible. Make sure you have enough Food, Water, Grog, Wood to get you to where you are going and back, or to another port. You can buy and sell at each Harbour you visit but mostly they are not as good to trade with, especially when you're buying, as your home port.
Combat can be automatic - you generally win this way if you have enough crew with the right skills, though they will take heavy damage and you are only likely to get a couple of pieces of whale or shark to sell, or you can lead the attack, in which case you manually have to work the mechanics.
Don't believe everything you read: When sailing I kept getting a message saying there is a "high chance of discovering a whale" and whenever I sailed there (wasting time as well as resources) I found nothing. It is best to keep your cursor floating through the waters until you get a definitive Whales are here type of message, then you can sail there and hunt.
My first impressions are that I like the idea of the game. I enjoy the man and resource management part of the game. I like the speed of using the different areas in a Town. I am not keen on the ship movement - it's labourious. Combat is rather boring and I soon found I was auto-fighting every time. The artwork doesn't give the impression of an exciting game, it's more like an art-deco version of an action/management game. It's very easy to run out of resources and very difficult to gain more. You need to find and kill whales close to Nantucket to get extra money to spend. Finishing the first quest and returning to Nantucket gives you a good reward but it is easily squandered if you are not frugal and thoughtful in your spending.
If what you are looking for is a point and click style management and resources game and you are not particularly worried about how it looks onscreen, then it's definitely worth trying. Personally it's not a game I can get into, there is not the pull or the addictiveness that some games have, at least not for me, but everyone is not me.