Set Sail: Caribbean Review – Buy, Sell, Sail

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Have you ever felt the call of the seas, a yearning to explore the great blue with nothing but a few barrels of pickled sausages to keep you alive? Ok, maybe it’s not for everyone. There is something sailing-adjacent you can get into that has all the glamour of being a sailor without the nasty side effect of disappearing at sea: ship repair!

Set Sail: Caribbean takes the resource management formula to the harbor with a casual buying and selling simulation everyone can enjoy. Instead of being some sort of real estate mogul like in most money management games, Set Sail gives you a sack full of gold and one simple goal: turn a profit by fixing up broken vessels. All you need is a couple of buildings and some wood, the rest is up to your management skills!

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The art of profitable ship repair is pretty straightforward. Sailors bring their busted up old rigs through the port, all nice and tidy in a straight line. Talk to each of them to see what kind of vessel they’ve got, what needs to be repaired, and how much they’re asking. You then have a simple decision: accept the offer or decline it. If the latter the sailor heads on his or her way, no hard feelings. If the former, you’ve got a brand new piece of merchandise that needs fixin’!

Ship repairs fall into a couple of simple categories. You’ll either need to fix up the sails, repair the body, or do both. This takes time and costs resources, but if your click and drag skills are speedy, you can get things ship shape in just a few seconds. Move finished vessels to the display dock and prospective buyers will come by and make an offer. Again, you have two options: accept, or decline. Weigh the costs carefully, as you really can’t afford to give these things away for next to nothing!

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Set Sail: Caribbean leans on a lot of resource management staples to provide variety. You’ll construct and upgrade buildings, hire workers, and send your people off to purchase more resources. These elements take a back seat to the main part of the game, though, which is price optimization. Set Sail is all about the gold, plain and simple. You’re here to complete a few goals and turn a healthy profit. If you can do that with just one shipyard and a couple of workers, more power to you. If not, there’s no shame in slapping on an upgrade or two to get things moving.

Set Sail’s simplicity really works in its favor. It may not sound like there’s a lot going on, but once you start juggling four or five kinds of ships, mentally keeping track of which one needs rigging and which one needs repairing, then start digging into the price points to maximize your profits, things start to get hectic. It’s more of a mental game than a physical reflexes one, but it’s still a great twist on the money management genre.

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