While many may have dreams of virtually enjoying the full Dutch Harbor experience, this is simply a tedious mess
In general I’ll open by admitting that, on average, simulations like this where you generally have to manually perform every task, no matter how dumb or clunky, tend to wear out my patience quickly. That said, there have also been some exceptions to that rule where tasks were streamlined enough or there was an added element of adventure of some sort to help break up the monotony. Unfortunately, this isn’t one such game. I can understand the appeal behind the idea, the show is genuinely fascinating and sometimes pretty exciting as you watch captains and their crews brave the rough conditions to try to strike crustacean gold. The thing is, first lacking the mellow narration of Mike Rowe, and then being hyper-focused on as many tedious steps as possible to accomplish anything, the gameplay is a very pale and minimalist interpretation of what goes on in the show. The biggest problem is that you’ll find yourself needing to execute tasks that would normally span multiple people, needing to move around to unlock or activate this, to then go back and do something else, to then return again to some controls to trigger the next step. This means there’s no flow and ultimately a load of time will be burned on simply moving back and forth between stations. The fact that some of them, like operating the crane, are so clunkily implemented then compounds the issue. No matter how much you may love the show I don’t see a way to think of this game experience as honoring it in just about any meaningful way.
Justin Nation, Score: