Trafalgar Origins is a top-down naval battle game developed to complement an episode in the Bloody Foreigners TV documentary series commissioned and aired by the UK public-service television broadcaster Channel 4 on 28th June 2010. The goal of the series is to show how Britain has been assisted in times of conflict by non British nationals. Just like 1066, Preloaded's previous game for Channel 4, there is an educational element to the title without distracting too much from the gameplay. This is provided through short, informative notices before battles and a historical campaign where the player first completes the scenario and then can read an overview of the historical event it is based on. Trafalgar Origins gives the player the command of a Royal Navy ship in historical recreations of Napoleonic naval battles. It is set against a backdrop of British, French and Spanish tensions during the Napoleonic wars.
The player guides a frigate from a top-down view through different missions that include defeating a certain ship or a set amount of ships (sometimes with a time limit), escorting other vessels, or completing a course in a time. Controls are very direct and arcade-like, somewhat similar to Arrrrrr!. Players steer the ship using the keyboard keys and fire using the mouse. At the start of the game an avatar can be designed and then there are four game modes available: training sessions, an arcade campaign, a historic campaign, and multiplayer matches against other human players over the Internet. By defeating ships and collecting loot, money and experience is earned. It can be spent on hiring crew, which improves one of the four statistics (defence, speed, reload or handling), but they require a wage for their services. A certain amount of gold needs to be spent on ship repairs as well.
During battles the player needs to avoid crashing into obstacles, take into account the influence of wind, and experiment with manoeuvres to target enemy ships from a good angle. The wind and the speed also influence the process of predicting shots and the shooting range. There are three types of ammunition available (round shot, grape shot and chain shot), as well as powder barrels that can be dropped in the water and act like mines. After each shot it takes some time until the reloading process is completed. When it is interrupted too early, because of good targeting opportunity for instance, less cannon balls are fired. A radar in the top right corner shows the positions of other ships as well as the wind direction. Health bars are shown directly over ships and the damage is also presented visually through numbers that appear upon impact.
The game supports social elements through FaceBook connect, as well as in-game achievements and a ranking system. In multiplayer battles player can set a personal goal for an additional reward and choose a personal crew, or a predefined one based on a specific stance (aggressive, defensive, ...) [source:mobygames]