Developer Cyan Worlds, who have previously brought their classic graphic adventure game Myst [$4.99/Lite] to the iPhone, have just released their newest iOS game Stoneship [$2.99] into the App Store. We first brought word of Stoneship last month, followed by a gallery of exclusive screenshots and a look at a teaser trailer provided by Cyan Worlds. Just over a week ago, coincidentally on International Talk Like a Pirate Day, we took an extensive look at a near-final build of Stoneship that the developer had sent us. Here are a few excerpts from that preview that explain the gameplay found in Stoneship:
Stoneship sets you and your first mate on the high seas, charged with exploring, controlling, and protecting vast oceans and islands, under continual threat of pirate sieges and tangles with ghastly monsters from the deep. The game is played by moving about any given level, uncovering obscured blocks of both land and sea in an attempt to discover ports, and temples (and, as a result, weaponry) as well as rafts of men lost at sea who will join your forces, as well as the location of any pirate ships that make your forces necessary in the first place.
Once you find a port, it becomes your own…as well as a target for pirates in the area. Each level has a set number of moves you’re permitted to execute before the inevitable pirate onslaught ensues. Multiple ports can be linked together to allow resource (battle-ready men) sharing, which is all about shifting men from port to port in the 10 second count-down before the pirate attack comes. Of course, you can only set things up to your advantage here if you’ve uncovered the location of the lurking pirates in your set number of turns. If not, the pirates come from one of the remaining hidden blocks on the map (which is pretty much a bad thing).
The core play mode is Campaign, which is a round-to-round push through the eighty three included levels (with additional levels to come later via update). A Challenge mode is also offered, which is a sort-of pick and choose affair.
In the following video from our preview, we detail practically the entire tutorial to give a thorough idea on how the game works. It’s a bit slow-going, although highly informative, and if you like you can skip ahead to the 6:00 minute mark to catch some footage of in-game battles playing out in Stoneship: