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SeaOrama: World of Shipping Game Review

Have you ever daydreamed about ruling over a fleet of ships, cutting through the ocean waves as you race to deliver goods around the globe and coin piles up in your company’s vaults? That’s the vision SeaOrama: World of Shipping from Hidden Tower Studios sets before you. But is it truly the smooth sailing it promises?

Upon launching the game, I was greeted by a sea of menus. These would be my new best friend as I embarked on my virtual shipping empire. It sounds like a desk job—and in many ways, it is—but there’s something oddly charming about this setup. It’s a game for those who take pleasure in planning, strategizing, and watching those plans unfold.

Getting started was a breeze. Even without much background in similar games, I had my first ship, my crew, and my contracts lined up like ducks in a row. Perhaps it’s the simplicity here that caught me; for a game about the complexities of international shipping, it sure doesn’t feel like it’s going to sink you on day one.

The Thrill of the Deal

SEA Screenshot 1

Honestly, who knew the hustle of contract hunting could be this engaging? With a world map as my playing field, the thrill of the hunt was real. Each contract signed felt like a victory, and with each victory, my cash pile grew — at least until my stinginess on crew salaries came back to bite me. It’s the kind of mistake that teaches you quickly; quality crew means fewer mishaps at sea. And in a game that’s largely about the bottom line, you feel every loss as keenly as you celebrate every win.

Interestingly, every choice carried weight. From opting to delay repairs for just one more voyage to weathering storms literal and figurative, SeaOrama doesn’t let you forget: you’re in charge here, and every decision has consequences.

A Fleet to Behold – or Perhaps a Fleet Too Bold?

SEA Screenshot 2

The more contacts I made and the more deals I secured, the more ships I needed. It starts a cycle: more ships means more profit, which means… yep, more ships. But more isn’t always better. When my fleet grew, so did my headaches, mainly due to the overwhelming micro-management that ensued.

Each idle ship pauses the game and requires your attention. There’s no “set it and forget it” here; every ship needs your guiding hand for every contract and every port call. Automation or the ability to set some shipping rules would have been a welcome addition to alleviate the tedium that eventually sets in.

And while we’re talking about things that set in, let’s talk about the visuals.

Sailing in Style? Or Lack Thereof…

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I can’t mince words here. The game’s aesthetic charm is — well, it’s lacking. The ships are clunky; the sea is more of a blue blob; the UI feels like a time traveler from the early 2000s. Sure, there’s a minimalistic charm to it all, but when the most exciting visual is your ship’s ledger filling up, you know there’s room for improvement.

But don’t get me wrong, there’s a charm to the colorful blobs floating on a map, going about their business as commanded. However, the charm doesn’t make up for the lack of graphical polish you’d expect from a modern game. It’s like watching a silent film when you know talkies are all the rage.

SEA Screenshot 3

Final Thoughts

SeaOrama feels more like a hobby than just a game—at its best, it’s engaging, challenging, and even soothing. At its worst, however, it’s a reminder that sometimes more isn’t better; it’s just more.

If you find beauty in numbers, strategy, and minimalist design, then this might be the next port of call for your gaming vessel. There’s a reassuring rhythm to managing your fleet, creating an almost zen-like gaming trance. But I must warn you: this game’s waters aren’t for everyone.

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Consider SeaOrama if you long for quiet evenings charting courses across digital seas, but if your heart yearns for visual spectacles or adrenaline-pumping action, you might want to set sail for different shores.

As I log off from my last session and reflect back on the hours poured into this digital sea of commerce, I think of the potential this game holds—a diamond in the rough waves of the gaming ocean. So, while Hidden Tower Studios have certainly charted a course with SeaOrama, there’s undoubtedly a voyage ahead to reach the full potential of this sea-bound adventure.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.