[Review] Neo ATLAS 1469 – Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: ART DINK
  • Publisher: NIS America
  • Release Date: 19/04/2018
  • Price: $49.99 / £37.99

Intro

During the Age of Exploration, European ships voyaged into unknown waters in search of better trade routes and partners. The scope of our Earth was uncertain and a flat world had yet to be contested. Neo ATLAS 1469 takes place during this Age of Discovery and lets you shape the world. Literally.

Journey to the Center of the Earth

In Neo ATLAS 1469, you lead a near bankrupt trading company. To make matters worse, your only admiral has been missing for two years. Luckily you have a skilled advisor, Miguel, at your side. Together you need to recruit admirals and revive your trading company. You’ll take on a variety of missions. Some are large scale requests from the King of Portugal while others are personal tasks from your admirals. The main objective is to explore the world with mighty sea vessels and seek out new trade routes with unique goods.

Around the World in Eighty Days

Flat Earthers rejoice! In Neo ATLAS your decisions determine the layout of the Earth. Depending on how you explore, the world will result in a round or flat Earth. You’ll command a handful of admirals. There are different tasks your admirals can undertake in Neo ATLAS. You can send them to battle pirates or more sinister denizens of the sea. They can explore deep caverns and haunted forests. Primarily you will chart their voyage over the deep blue oceans clouded by fog. As your admirals journey along your suggested route they return once they find new land. They’ll report their findings and it is up to you to approve or deny the reports. If they find land and you deny their findings, they will proceed on the charted course again, only to find the land is no longer there. Likewise, if you send them to the middle of the ocean and they return only finding more water, you can deny the claim and a new island will emerge. It is choices like these which shape the world. You can decide to keep the world fairly consistent with our reality or you can alter it greatly. This method of exploration is a lot of fun. Discovering new lands enables you to find treasure and new cities to trade with. As you progress you’ll be able to establish trade routes between cities to maintain your income. Money is used to repair and purchase ships for your admirals. Any admiral can have a flotilla of four ships. Scouring the land with a sort of magnifying glass allows you to discover advanced ships among other treasure. There was hardly any risk of going bankrupt once you get started. As long as you keep the waters clear of pirates and update your trade routes to maximize efficiency you’ll be able to fund exploration around the entire planet. The masking fog made me realize how poor my geography is. I often found myself dissecting continents just to clear fog from the map. Since exploration is only done at sea, fog will remain on larger land masses, triggering my OCD.

The Mysterious Island

As you uncover the world, you’ll chance upon music notes. This is a clever way to change the sound track. The music unlocked around the world represents many cultures. Not only was it nice to hear tracks stylized from different parts of the globe, but it also helped me know where I was exploring. The graphics are simple and quirky. Finding fantastical breeds of animals and meat with facial features adds to the humor of Neo ATLAS and echoes the carefree whimsy of the game.

Final Wrap

Have you ever watched a power washer blast rust off an old car? Neo ATLAS offers the same euphoric tranquility. Once you set your admirals to the task of clearing fog, you sit back and watch the world unveil itself. Neo ATLAS is an ode to the great maritime explorers who risked their lives to map the world. This is a unique experience which any fan of exploration should have in their library. The only setback is the repetitive nature. It can take a good fifty hours to reveal the map in one play-through so it’s doubtful you’ll conquer the globe for varied outcomes time and time again.

Pros

  • Soothing Game-play
  • A Whole World to Explore
  • A Rare Journey

Cons

  • Repetitive

Verdict
Neo ATLAS 1469 is a unique adventure where you can fritter away the time and unwind.
4/5

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