Player Comments on Magellan 4: Search for Original Ideas
Like the other games in this series, "Magellan 4" gives me interesting navigational and logistical puzzles to sort out, prioritizing my resources as I battle against time and dwindling supplies. That's fun in and of itself -- the first game in this series was largely comprised of that sort of choice, and I adored that one. The second game did the same, but with more characterful choices, having me make more interesting decisions which define my character--am I a nice guy or a ruthless SOB out for glory?
This game gives me a *lot* of that latter kind of choice, immediately asking me whether I want to pursue a strategic military goal or a more diplomatic goal. I really like how the choices let me manage risk (waiting out a storm or persist through it).
The plot itself is a rollicking adventure with betrayal, allies, desperation, an Odyssey-like exploration of weird and dangerous islands. The exciting battle scenes are described rather than offering me tactical choices, but that's not at all a knock on the game--the game is not about the minutae of moment-to-moment naval battle, but about the big choices about priorities. And the description is interesting and immersive. As usual, the ancillary characters are a treat. I love Naomi, and I love Ann-Marie. That doesn't mean I like all of them as people, but I love the smaller characterful moments with them.
The game is much harder than the previous ones in the sense that supplies are *tight*. You will starve. And you will have to back and reconsider little previous excursions to islands that end up being time and supply sinks. This game will take you a while to figure out how not to end up dead in the water. I like that. That's a really good thing, and one of my favorite aspects of the "game" part of this storygame. I must have played the middle game, through the Southern passage fifteen times, mapping it out, trying to figure out how on earth to stretch my supplies.
There were a few pages where I really wanted a little more *story* description (like sailing through a massive storm, which is dealt with in just two sentences.) That also goes for explaining what the choices mean, like one choice called "The White Whale" which isn't mentioned in the story so far--is that a ship named that? A literally white whale? I know I can click it and see and then go back, but it would better, I think, to have the narrative explain what I'm choosing first.
When this game is doing story, there's a lot of story. And when it's doing game, the prose often gets really sparing and concise. I guess it's a good sign that what I wanted was more of the story, because I just love this adventurous world.
Because I love this game so much, I deeply want it to be proofread. There are a lot of typo, just to grab a few at random: Typos: first sentence: "and slaughtered the most of the it's defenders."; "I can think of literally a dozen things I'd rather be doing that killing you"; "The storm rages for free days and by it's end..."; Lots of run-ons, comma splices, missing commas and apostrophes, missing punctuation at within and at the end of sentences (Her Captain Drake comes aboard to talk with you and Naomi). The game is so good that it's a shame to have the surface of it marred with these assorted microlevel things.
on 9/12/2019 7:18:18 PM with a score of 1
Gosh, i have finished the Magellan series. You know, from all the stuff I've read, this series of storygames really shows how to write sequels well. It's also a quite challenging playthrough whichI always appreciate. After dying trice, I've finally found the good ending.
Gotta say, Naomi was really badass with that clutch shot. Phew, got me really at the edge of my seat there. :)
on 12/22/2021 12:35:51 PM with a score of 1
much delight thank you
— Dan on 11/3/2019 12:18:19 AM with a score of 1
was a lot of fun didnt reallyunderstand the point of the inventory though
on 12/5/2018 9:16:58 PM with a score of 1
— Jodl on 4/14/2018 2:07:14 PM with a score of 1
Wow, this was amazing.
I love the fact that Naomi partially gained her sight back.
I can't wait for the last part.
Btw, did you ever consider something like this?
Let's say Naomi and Leo have few children and they unite against some evil force in let's say 80 years?
— Dj Senter on 4/13/2018 3:11:06 PM with a score of 1
Solid as always
— K on 7/21/2017 9:03:36 PM with a score of 1
It was really long, but really good. I hated the start over thing though, it made this story about five times longer, having to restart five times. Personally, I don't like all the sailing, because there was a lot of sailing, but I guess you can't satisfy everyone. This had hard work and time put into this, and I respect that. But also, there seems to be only a couple of ways this story can end without having to start over, and there are some loops involved, but it was a good story.
on 5/6/2016 6:00:50 PM with a score of 1
Well. I haven't been much of a reviewer lately unless it's concerned telling someone about site rules, but we're four games into this marvelous series and it's about time that I say something:
Will, thank you for your persistence in creating good, quality games. I really quite like the world and cast that you've shown us. I do have a bit of a soft spot for Leo as my name was, naturally, derived from a young sailor with a knack for leadership and passion for exploration. (And skirt chasing, but that's irrelevant here.)
The writing is obviously the main draw, as it should be, and it's quite good, (barring the rare typo that is not enough to detract from my enjoyment) and God knows we can always use more good writing here. All the tricks and glitter in the world that you can use to make a game look nice are worth precisely nothing if you cannot write, so all of you folks that think slapping a few pretty pictures on a crappy game fixes it, please take note.
(As a tiny critique, a "previous page" link would not have been amiss on the page containing the cast list. Partly because my phone hates being told to use the go back option for some reason. Also, I love your cast lists.)
The ending was very satisfying and well worth the effort. The final page was also, without spoiling much, delightfully ominous. I look forward to seeing the next installment.
I highly encourage anyone who hasn't played this series yet to get off your butt (or get on it, whichever is required) and start reading.
on 5/6/2016 3:14:34 AM with a score of 1
I'm surprised the length on this one is a 6/8, same as the first, because there really does seem to be a lot more to it. Really been enjoying how the plot has been ramping up and getting more involved as the series goes along. This is a fantastic series and there's a lot going on here.
I'm hoping to revisit this one to give it a more detailed review--honestly I've been wanting to binge through all of them from the beginning again and really turn them inside out with multiple playthroughs trying all the options, but I saw this one languishing here and thought it was really in need of some love, like right now. :P
It really is a shame there aren't more reviews yet, but it's possible being the fourth in a series is keeping new readers who haven't read the rest away...you know we're all lazy bitches here who would rather spend five seconds blindly clicking through some terrible 2 length thing by a nine year old. Reading good stories takes time, and thinking and stuff, ugh.
on 5/3/2016 10:45:56 AM with a score of 1
Another fantastic entry in the series. It's a lot meatier than the other stories. I thought it'd end with the capture of Golden Shores, but it went on for a fair bit after with a lot of good gameplay. This game combined great gameplay with a fantastic plot and really interesting and fleshed out characters. The entry is the very best of the series, which the strongest plot without sacrificing gameplay. The only flaw would be the queen's escape, which ended up being a ridiculous kind of Villain escape against all odds when I should've just killed her. Other than that, it was an incredible game and I can't wait for the finale of the series. Well done, amazing work.
on 4/30/2016 7:28:00 PM with a score of 1