Player Comments on Magellan 1: Race into the Great Unknown

I've been reading a lot of storygames this week, and the difference between an engaging start and a not engaging start is so obvious. This game throws me right it with clear story telling, a crisp narrative voice, and a fun character to play. A tough sea captain story told by a great story teller? Sold. The addition of a race, questionably reliable armaments, and the problem of finding and storing food creates additional adventure. I can see where I think this is going, and I'm excited.
The choices were well thought out to make me balance my varying needs and to put them in conflict with each other. Speed or safety? And also the unstated question of Speed or Morality? (will I seriously leave men to drown for the sake of winning a contest--turns out, yes, yes I will.) I think some choices might have been made more enticing (going to visit my friend's grave, for example--why would I do that?)

The game is sometimes hilarious, like an island "of quicksand" or the island "goverened by penguins"; the game plays this all with straight face, which is great.

There were a few times I expected a choice, like meeting Trevers with the woodworm. I expected to be give a choice about him instead of meeting him to be told he was out of the race. It felt funny to have Trevers suddenly out of the race without anything having happened yet. I suppose (as when I also met the wreck of the Dove of the Sea) I wondered whether I had done anything to affect these captains, or whether whenever you get to this part of the sea, you notice what's happened. I don't know what variables are at play here, but I wondered how reactive the other ships are.

Exciting, often with three choices on each page, and with real tactical choices to make, this game is excellent. Yes, there were times when I wasn't 100% sure why north was better than northeast as a choice, and a touch more guidance as to how each choice might affect rations and course would be useful (how good would a map be in this game!) But on the whole, I loved this game and am excited to play more in this world.

Language-wise, this game is so good that it needs to use sentence structure/commas right, because it's distracting.

"Gunpowder is a recent invention and though your ship is armed with four cannons and all your crew carry muskets these are slow to load and highly inaccurate making the sword your crew's primary weapon" is a pretty typical sentence that badly needs commas for clarity.

And dialogue gets punctuation in a special way with quotation marks--that's an issue throughout this whole game.

“Captains” he says quietly.
-- Gower on 9/3/2019 6:21:13 AM with a score of 0
Here I am reading another storygame in the Magellan series. Two stories in two days. Why did I come back for more, you ask? Because I enjoy quality storygames. Don’t you?

As I left a pretty lengthy comment on Magellan III, I’ll try not to repeat myself especially when it comes to formatting. They both are formatted nearly identical. Makes sense as the series should have some sort of universality to it, but I’m still not a big fan of the ship names being bold text.

There is definitely a huge game aspect to the storygame. Will demonstrates his mastery of variables and uses them wonderfully to enhance the overall experience. Having to keep track of my men, food, and days made me consider each choice more carefully. It brought up the question “How will this decision affect my crew?”. It made me more involved and invested into the story which obviously is a huge plus.

Some thoughts generated by the story:

-It was a nice surprise to see Tobias Cuthrew mentioned. He was a huge part of M3.

-The text change after the first two pages is a bit distracting. It becomes less so after clicking a few links and getting used to the new font. I’d like to know what prompted the change since it was clearly done on purpose.

-As far as I can tell, the story doesn’t seem too linear. When faced with choices, it was more than A. Live B. Die.

-Speaking of choices, they do matter in the story. Don’t die of starvation, Cap’n.

It was very interesting to go from reading M3 to the first storygame in the Magellan series. I somewhat expected the quality to be worse based on sheer improvement over time. It wasn’t noticeably worse. In fact, I didn’t come across any part of the writing that seemed lower quality than in M3. It’s probably attributed to Will being one of the most prolific writers on the site. Anyways, I’m now officially a fan of the Magellan series (reading more than one earns you the right to say that) and on my way to read Magellan II. See you there, folks!
-- ninjapitka on 5/15/2019 11:36:31 AM with a score of 0
I enjoyed it, and it was a fun game.

It definitely felt more like a game than a story. My personal bias favors more of a story feel, but the map-able in-game-universe was a cool feature, even more so if you've incorporated it into the sequels.

Something like a subplot that focuses on your interactions, relationships, dynamics, etc. with your crew would be a nice addition for a storygame like this. Anything to make me care about them. Because from this framework, they're just a number that I can't let hit zero. Unless I'm mistaken, it makes no difference if I arrive with 30 happy crewmen or just me and one Mr. No Name that went through living hell.

I was a little confused about how I circumnavigated the globe on a north/south route without ever sailing south, though. I'll just picture it as a flat world that teleports you to the bottom of the map once you hit a certain point.

Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable experience.
-- Bucky on 5/18/2016 10:04:23 PM with a score of 2
Great Story dude
-- Seth Cross on 5/23/2020 8:24:49 PM with a score of 2
love
-- leggomygreggo8 on 11/20/2019 11:52:14 AM with a score of 2
This is very much a game, and less a story. The writing is matter-of-fact, describing where you are and what you see, but not much else. The object is to sail around the world of the fictional world of Magellan -- a feat that is expected to take a minimum of 50 days, although your ship can hold no more than 30 days' worth of food.

This is an amusing read, and easily winnable by judicious use of the "go back" button; the game is even kind enough to tell you how to win should you die halfway around the world. This is an enjoyable and quality storygame for the simple fact that it establishes an internal logic and sticks with it through the end.

As a story, it is lackluster. There are really no characters per se, just names and pairs of adjectives ("Jane Doe is [adj #1] and [adj #2]; Jack Snap is [adj #3] and [adj #4]"). Your fellow sailors are represented by a nameless stat that dwindles as you progress. Commas are so sparingly used you might think they were an endangered species, elusive and seldom seen.

And there is a major logical flaw that I feel obligated to point out.

By circumnavigating this fictional world, you sail north from your homeland. And north, and north, and north, and north until you reach the southern shoreline of your homeland. (For variety's sake, you may at times go northeast or northwest.)

Do you see the problem here? Do I really need to spell it out? If you go far enough north, you eventually reach the North Pole. Every spherical world has one. At the North Pole, every direction is SOUTH. In a circumnavigation you would then go SOUTH to the South Pole, at which point every direction, no matter where you turn, is north.

But in this story, the only options, ever, are north, northeast, and northwest. And in the process you only seem to pass one of the two poles.

Overall, though, this is a pleasing diversion, and I am looking forward to parts 2, 3, and 4.
-- Bill_Ingersoll on 9/25/2019 11:05:18 PM with a score of 1
Quite amazing. Took me multiple tries to finish first, but with every attempt i was met with cool, and sometimes, disastrous events.
-- Meteor on 8/15/2019 6:06:39 AM with a score of 2
I can't believe I haven't played this game yet. I play a lot of Will's stories but never scrolled down far enough to find it lol. Glad I did this time.

Also, great story. I liked how adventurous it felt, but then again, that's the name of my ship, so it's to be expected.
Anyway, 8/8.
-- venyanwarrior on 5/20/2019 2:02:25 PM with a score of 2
Short-ish game, but I enjoyed it.
-- InvictusXL on 3/17/2019 1:36:30 AM with a score of 2
Good
-- Starkillerb04 on 3/12/2019 3:43:07 PM with a score of 2
WOW! After 2 turns I came out first :D
It was a great game. Landing on the islands gave you knowledge and you could actually list down the encounters just in case you want to replay.
I had fun
-- TheStoryteller26 on 12/19/2018 1:50:23 AM with a score of 2
realy good game
-- essee on 11/19/2018 4:16:46 PM with a score of 2
Like the adventures and the hurry
-- Micha on 7/22/2018 7:21:10 PM with a score of 2
I really like the feel of this story; it makes me think of a less fanciful Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I haven't fully explored it yet, but I intend to.
-- Mynoris on 12/22/2017 2:43:04 AM with a score of 2
good
-- bob on 12/18/2017 11:10:31 PM with a score of 2
Fun, this was my first of these types of adventures
-- Ian Verhaegen on 11/10/2017 3:57:55 PM with a score of 2
Overall, great story. I like that, even though we could only move north, you gave us different options to go northwest or northeast and each direction gave a different scenario for each direction. I survived the voyage and was first to arrive home. All in all, great game.
-- nm13757 on 9/21/2017 8:05:06 PM with a score of 2
Interesting game
-- K on 7/21/2017 5:06:31 PM with a score of 2
Pretty good adventure with interesting stops along the way. Would journey Magellan again !
-- Nick on 7/1/2017 2:58:06 AM with a score of 2
ok
-- tq on 4/30/2017 10:04:43 AM with a score of 2
Nice game!
-- Percival7 on 4/27/2017 3:50:01 AM with a score of 2
Really fun to play, and a interesting story.
-- Soldja Boi on 4/25/2017 1:17:33 PM with a score of 2
Nice storygame~
-- LOLiHAVEnoFACE on 4/25/2017 9:31:00 AM with a score of 2
Awesome
-- Frostberg on 4/19/2017 9:29:01 AM with a score of 2
I could have sworn I'd already reviewed this one but apparently not! It popped up on the front page as needing more ratings, so here you go.

The first of the series and the most game-like of them, it's still a lot of fun approached as a game of time and resource management. Though the path to technically squeak by with a win isn't too difficult - I remember died a lot the first few times through while exploring and poking around at every plot hook, while apparently the winning solution (or at least the most obvious one) is just to rush full steam ahead like a crazy person without any regard for what your guys are going to eat until you're on the last biscuit.

Anyway, a very enjoyable game/story hybrid. The others were gradually expanded quite a bit, with more emphasis on story, but I still appreciate the strategy elements of this one.

-- mizal on 4/18/2017 10:58:33 PM with a score of 2
Well this was interesting; I have mixed feelings about it. The concept was good and so was most of the writing but the story and character interaction was bad. You do not interact with your sailors and I did not feel like a captain at all.
-- jcury on 2/23/2017 3:45:22 PM with a score of 2
I keep dying of hunger! It really annoys me, as I was always able to complete the journey before!
-- EndDragon on 2/10/2017 2:03:22 PM with a score of 0
I hate management games, but i actually liked this one.
-- Unkno on 1/16/2017 3:42:47 PM with a score of 2
An exceptionally fun game with a competitive nature. This was remarkably challenging, as I was near death of starvation for the second half of the game, but it was fun to take the different courses and routes.

8/8
-- Snowflame on 1/15/2017 10:40:36 PM with a score of 2
I would've liked if your interactions with the other captains actually mattered! It would've been great if there was an actual change in the story and the logs ,shaped by your choices!
-- hristoskof on 1/11/2017 6:10:36 PM with a score of 2
I always seem to die of hunger.
-- EndDragon on 1/6/2017 10:43:35 AM with a score of 0
I enjoyed the game, certainly interesting.
-- EbonVasilis on 1/4/2017 11:19:11 AM with a score of 2
Was good but I couldn't create an accurate map by no fault of the without though.
-- Alejandro on 12/7/2016 9:44:29 PM with a score of 2
Easily the best adventure game I've played here. Intriguing plot, detailed world and memorable characters. Very nice!
-- jayfeatheraven921 on 10/26/2016 6:39:16 AM with a score of 2
It's a good game
if your into that kind of thing
-- Bob on 9/14/2016 9:09:31 PM with a score of 2
I loved this game! I have to play the others!
-- Seto on 8/22/2016 9:57:49 PM with a score of 2
Good game :)
-- Tyrant44 on 8/10/2016 7:01:04 AM with a score of 2
Not Bad.
-- lejama88 on 7/13/2016 9:24:22 AM with a score of 2
Nice story, events seemed nice and spacious, risk mixed with reward was pretty standard, in my voyage at least. First time won the race by about 3 days, wasn't expecting that but i only had 6 crew left and a days worth of food
-- Thomas Diver on 7/6/2016 4:19:18 PM with a score of 2
great game, I liked the realism and how if things felt like they were stat based, the story ended based on those stats. really nice game.
-- Shinobi on 6/13/2016 10:05:47 AM with a score of 2
Almost got killed by the princess and her boyfriend, then after the adventure we all acted like that never happened. Also, when I hunted the lizards, it said none of my crew died but the crew counter went from 15 down to 12 anyways.
-- corgi213 on 5/28/2016 10:31:46 AM with a score of 2
MAN IM A BAD SAILOR
-- barny on 5/26/2016 3:44:10 PM with a score of 0
Wow, Will. This was an impressive story. I already have a map I made while playing, too. ;)

The only suggestions I can even make is possibly having more interaction or background for your characters. There was not too much detail about the protagonist, either.

However, I still enjoyed the game and found it refreshingly different from other new games posted. It was fun, had a type of puzzle (well-kinda) I enjoyed, and was decent length. The writing was excellent as far as I could tell. Great story! I rated 6/8.
-- breezy134 on 3/4/2016 2:35:27 PM with a score of 2
more choices....
-- huy on 3/1/2016 4:35:22 AM with a score of 2
A very enjoyable adventure at sea with a simple premise and excellent execution.
-- the_quiller on 2/29/2016 4:54:45 PM with a score of 2
Intresting
-- The_Dungeon_Master on 2/27/2016 10:46:20 AM with a score of 2
I hope the next one has a Philippines like nation in it.
-- BadWriter on 2/27/2016 2:53:38 AM with a score of 2
Great game and all of the connections with the upcoming sequel will make it even better!
-- Doomcomer on 2/25/2016 8:18:39 PM with a score of 2
I loved reading the logbooks of the other captains, it is a nice touch which I really enjoyed. I also like the premise of the game. It is new and refreshing. Keep up the good work :)
-- gerrrit on 2/25/2016 1:22:26 PM with a score of 2
Lots of reading
-- dragon396 on 2/23/2016 10:37:26 PM with a score of 0
Great game; you've got an intriguing premise and I really liked the separate personalities and pathways of the other captains and how their fates change with your choices. The story almost had a Battle Royale-esque feel given the only one may win mentality, and that sort of atmosphere is always good.
-- SoSaidL on 2/23/2016 9:18:13 PM with a score of 2
If this is gonna be a series, you may want to give it more of a story component. This seems more like a standalone story that has that visual timeline feel: Cool the first time through, but not something I'd re read for kicks or to explore different paths. Also try having more interactions with other ships and possible some with your OWN crew.
-- Anonymous on 2/23/2016 8:35:42 PM with a score of 2
Haha wow 3/8? That's only one more than "Awesume"! :D Hm, maybe I'd better forget this series and try something else...
-- Will11 on 2/23/2016 6:27:06 PM with a score of 0
This was great fun. It had great game play, replayability, interesting characters, interesting setting and I'd love to play again. The main issue was my name. Cleo Trapa? Cleo's not a male name, is it? Also, I kept thinking it was Cleopatra. Other than that, it was awesome.
-- Steve24833 on 2/23/2016 5:31:17 PM with a score of 2
Close Window