FAR: Changing Tides is a very interesting indie game. Games have such the potential to tell unique and complex stories, in ways that film and books simply can’t do. They have the ability to let you discover the world and its rules at your own pace, slowly uncovering the reality and story as you learn the game. While all games have the potential to blow away their audience, few capture the haunting beauty and minimalistic storytelling as well as FAR: Changing Tides.
FAR: Changing Tides places you in the shoes of a small boy, who finds himself in a flooded world looking for a new home. On his journey, he uncovers an old ship, resting in wait with no clue who built it or how the world had become the dangerous watery wasteland it now is. It is now up to you to help direct the young boy and his new ship to voyage forth in search of a permanent home.
It is a simple story, one that plays out with striking brilliance with a masterful score, stunning visuals and a design that invites you to play at your own pace. This is not a game that you can die, or really fail, it is a journey you embark on and explore as fast or as slowly as you wish to play.
With no dialog, it is the visuals and music to craft the narrative of this young boy and his ship, and the developers at Okomotive masterfully capture the melancholy charm of this desolate, lonely world, where there are only the scattered remains of a once great population. As you explore, you will get hints and clues to what this world was once like, but the design lets you take in as much, or as little of this as you want. This is a game of exploration and experience, giving you all the tools to take on the challenge in FAR: Changing Tides at your own speed.
The gameplay is unique, acting as both an adventure of discovery and a struggle of ship management. The boat you are on needs constant supervision, with parts needing rule, maintenance and to be kept running as you go on your adventure. To achieve this, you will need to find the scattered debris around the watery depths, that you collect as you move to your inevitable destination.
This is done through diving and collecting, or picking up chests that lay at the bottom of the ocean floor, or around many of the abandoned buildings you will come across on your travels. While a game that has no fear of death could sound dull, the team at Okomotive give enough for you to do at any given moment on the ship that FAR: Changing Tides never feels boring.
“…if you like a game built to push your critical thinking while looking truly stunning as you do it, FAR: Changing Tides is that title for you”
Even beyond the constant maintenance of your boat, there is plenty standing in your way. From simple movement puzzles, to more complex issues stopping progressing, if you like a game built to push your critical thinking while looking truly stunning as you do it, FAR: Changing Tides is that title for you. With each new obstacle asking a little more of the player, there is always an answer within reach, you just have to use the tools and lessons the game teaches you along your way to succeed .
FAR: Changing Tides also gives your boat new add-ons as you go through your adventure. These come in the way of additions that are scattered around the landscape in scripted story beat moments. From a steam engine to the ability to explore the ocean depths, FAR: Changing Tides keeps the new mechanics consistent while giving you a taste of the majesty of now watery landscape.
I loved the slow progression, and the constant flow of mechanics with story beats, and moments of fantastic visuals. There were times I simply put my controller down to take in all the game had to offer. With minimalistic set pieces, and a striking level of detail to each aspect of the journey, you are never at a loss for things to see or experience as you make your way through the quest to find a new home.
FAR: Changing Tides is a game that needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Filled with wonder, challenge and discovery, this is a game that rewards attention while keeping the gameplay fun and peaceful. If you are a fan of indie games that try and push the bar on what is possible, you owe yourself a service to give FAR: Changing Tides a shot.