Dread Nautical is a turn based strategy game with elements of a rogue lite. The game takes place on a large boat where some passengers have mysteriously turned into zombies. The surviving passengers are also exhibiting some strange symptoms, such as memory loss and hallucinations.
Your task is to explore the different levels of the ship and find out what exactly is happening. As you explore each level of the ship, you find makeshift weapons, armor, and consumable items. As you are scavenging, you also have the option to clear zombies. Some fights are unavoidable. The combat is standard turn based strategy based on action points.
Almost every item has durability that decreases as you fight and take hits. When an item reaches zero durability, it can no longer be used but can be brought back to be repaired at your base of operations
At your base, you have the ability to build beds, use the workbench, the occult training center, and a med bay. The beds allow you to take on more passengers you find along the way. You have to choose the right conversation options to increase their perception of you and once it is high enough, they will join your party.
The workbench allows you to repair, upgrade, and recycle weapons. The occult training center allows you to spec your characters and increase base stats. The med bay allows you to craft restorative items.
As you climb the ship, every floor gets larger and more difficult, with new zombie types as well as possible bosses. You also have to manage hunger meters by finding food on each floor and feeding your team. You may not find enough food so you’ll have to make some hard choices.
In addition to this, all the encounters and characters are backed up voice acting. The characters are stereotypes of old detective movies and is a bit over done and bordering on caricature. I enjoyed it but it may be outputting to some.
Overall Dread Nautical brings a fresh twist to these genres by combining both elements of turn based strategy and rogue lites to create an enjoyable experience.