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"Ship Simulator 2006" Review (PC)

About.com Rating 2.5 Star Rating


Ship Simulator

"Ship Simulator" Box Cover

Screenshot © DreamCatcher Games.
Publisher: DreamCatcher
Developer: VSTEP
Genre: Naval
Release Date: August 21, 2006


  • Titanic walkthrough
  • Create missions


  • Few sounds
  • No free play mode, all mission based
  • Quality of graphic detail
  • Small selection of boats

"Ship Simulator" Features

  • 9 playable boats: R.M.S Titanic, Container vessel, Yacht, Small Container ship, Inland Cargo ship, Harbour Patrol ship, Tug boat, Power boat, and Taxi boat.
  • Sail around the world and visit the largest harbors (New York, Rotterdam, and Hamburg).
  • 40 missions that have you doing search-and-rescue missions, racing a speedboat, to towing a cargo boat through a narrow harbor entrance with your powerful tugboat.
  • Complete weather system with wind, rain, and of course, sunshine.
  • Create and exchange missions with other players of "Ship Simulator."

"Ship Simulator" Review

"Ship Simulator" Screenshot

Screenshot © DreamCatcher Games.
With "Ship Simulator," you’d think it would be centered around sailing around the world and enjoying the view – the sunsets! Not exactly. In some respects, "Ship Simulator" is exactly what you would expect it to be. The objectives are to sail different types of ships in a variety of situations. It is, however, not a game that will give you free reign of the world, like "Microsoft Flight Simulator" does. "Ship Simulator" does include not every inch of the world, what it does is gives us a little bit of places across the globe.

"Ship Simulator" is centered around 40 missions, that are not all available at once. Harder mission become available as you gain experience and complete the missions within the guidelines (which is basically not causing too much damage). The first mission is the obligatory "learn how the controls" mission, except there is minimal guidance. It took me several times to get the hang of the controls and not cause destruction to every boat in the harbor (okay – maybe it was every other boat).

The missions themselves are not the challenge. The objectives are generally for you to transfer cargo or go to an area to check it out. The difficulty comes with trying to handle the ships. Mastering the ships to squeeze them into tight spots takes practice (as it should).

I can only guess about the realism of sailing and maneuvering each of the different types of ships. The differences between the ships do appear to be right on target. The feel of a cruise ship is bulky and has wide turns, just as I would expect it to have. The controls are the part of "Ship Simulator" that are well done. I have no complaints about the mechanics of the ships. It’s the rest of "Ship Simulator" that feels uninspired.

The graphics and sound could have been turned up a notch. Both at minimally done and and the smallest detail would have been some improvement. The sound consists of the engine noise becoming louder and softer as you change views from inside on the captain's chair to a bird's eye view. Graphically, "Ship Simulator" isn't anything special. The environment is so quiet it's spooky at times. There's no one working on the cargo docks and on the boats. A little more love would have went a long way.

"Ship Simulator" Screenshot

Screenshot © DreamCatcher Games.
The well done simulated controls are just not enough to warrant a purchase for most gamers. You will get a good amount of game time out of completing the missions. Enjoyment of playing will vary, you have to love the genre and go into knowing it might not be everything you were looking for. I do think there is enough here to build on, and a sequel is in order as long as the developers are given time to continue to nurture the gameplay.
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