Game Classification

Ship Simulator 2008 VSTEP B.V., Lighthouse Interactive Game Publishing BV, 2007  

Informations Analyses Serious Gaming





This title is used by the following domains:
  • Entertainment


This title targets the following audience:
Age : 12 to 16 years old / 17 to 25 years old
General Public


The gameplay of this title is Game-based
(designed with stated goals)

The core of gameplay is defined by the rules below:

Similar games

In the 2008 edition of the Ship Simulator series players can manoeuvre ships in different kinds of environments. The stress is purely on the simulation, there are no fighting elements with opponents and as such the gameplay is recreational in design, although there are action-based missions.

The game is divided into a free roaming and a mission mode. In Free Roam, players choose a ship, an environment, weather conditions and time, and start sailing. There are no goals in this mode, but players can set waypoints to define routes, and sail from Amsterdam to New York for instance.

In the mission mode objectives need to be completed without damaging the ships. In easy missions only a single ship needs to be controlled with only a few goals, while harder missions have the player steer multiple ships at once with different goals altogether. Apart from routes, boats will need to be towed with a tug boat, players need to load containers, do a sight-seeing tour, participate in a stunt show, unload contains, or rescue other ships or swimmers during disasters. Completing missions improves the player's ranking. There are five main classes (special, motorboat, cargo, passenger or yacht and tugs), with five levels each.

The weather conditions can be configured in detail, including wind force, wind direction, rain, thunder, fog, stars, the height of the waves and the shape of the clouds. The selection of ships include a container vessel, a patrol boat, a pilot boat, a powerboat, ferries, a rescue boat, an incident response vessel, tug boats, a supertanker, an ocean liner and more. Some ships are famous models, such as the RMS Titanic (updated from the previous version), Pride of Rotterdam or ADF Vermaas.

Ships can be controlled from different perspectives, both external and internal. In the walkthrough mode players can fully explore the ship and walk to areas such as the helmsman position to take control of the ship. They can be steered using the arrow keys or by clicking and dragging elements in the interface. Basic controls are different for each type of ship and are shown near the bottom of the screen. The top of the screen has a compass, GPS coordinates and detailed information about the weather. A general map is also available.

The 1.1 version updates the game a mission editor (available separately), mid-mission save function, two new vessels (jet ski and hovercraft), 20 new missions and extended scenery. With the editor players can create custom missions and share them online.

In the 1.3 version online multiplayer is introduced for the first time in the series.

Additional updates add horns and radio sounds, Philips amBX support for more ambient sounds.

In July 2008 more customization was introduced through The Shipyard, an online vessel and environment shop where players can customize the game with new ships, environments, harbours and new features. [source:mobygames]

Distribution : Retail - Commercial
Platform(s) : PC (Windows)