Game Analysis: Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves / A Little Damaged (Alt)
“Sea of Thieves / A Little Damaged (Alt)” by Stefans02 is licensed under CC BY 2.0


  • I analyzed Sea of Thieves because I have been playing it a lot recently and I think that the game is very fun.

Game Play Analysis

Formal Elements
The Basics
Name of the gameSea of Thieves
The platformPc/Steam
Time played (should be at least 30 minutes)2 Hours
If you could work on this game (change it), what would you change and why?I would make it less buggy and a little more understandable on how to find quests.
How many players are supported?4
Does it need to be an exact number?nope it can be 1-4
How does this affect play?You get different types ships with different amounts of players.
What are the players trying to do?Get Loot/Gold and deliver it to a outpost. There are also other ships in the seas that can take your loot and sink your ship or you can alliance with them.
Rules/MechanicsIn the beginning you want to get your flag of a certain emissary of the quest that you are going to do. Then you want to chose what quest you are going to go on. Then you set your sails and head to the island with the treasure dig it up where it is on the map. Then safely get to an outpost and sell your treasure.
What controls are used?Keyboard and mouse/ wasd
Was there a clear introductory tutorial?Yes
Were they easy to understand or did you find yourself spamming the controller?I think that it was pretty easy to understand most things but there were some things that just weren’t explained.
Resources & Resource ManagementNOTES
What kinds of resources do players control?Players control the ship and how much treasure yo want at a time and how much you want to risk.
How are they maintained during play?You can chose what to do with the treasure and where you want to sell it.
What is their role?The Resources give you money which you can buy quests and cosmetics with.
Game StateNOTES
How much information in the game state is visible to the player?Most of the information is visible to you it can be hard to understand it though.
In what order do players take their actions?It is all real time and very fast paced.
Player Interaction There is a lot of types of player interaction in this game. With your team you have to coordinate who is shooting the cannons, rotating the sails, and steering the ship. If you happen to find other people then you can just avoid them you can talk to them and share treasure and work together, you can form a alliance where you share the gold that you get for the loot, or you can battle it out and see who’s ship sinks first.
Theme & NarrativeNOTES
Does it have an actual story structure?It has somewhat of a story structure in the “Tall Tales” which are longer quests that take you all over the map and give you a story that you have to follow to find the treasure, and there is a story in that. But there is no overall story or campaign.
Is it based on a historical event (or similar)?It is not based on a historical event but pirates did exist.
Does the theme or narrative help you know how to play?Yes, because you are pirates you can act like pirates, like pirates attack other ships. The quests never tell you to attack other ships.
Does it have emotional impacts?It can if you have been grinding a boss for hours and getting good loot and sailing the seas and you just get sunk and all of that loot that you had collected is gone and you can’t get it back it does make you sad.
Also, look for en media res (does it start in the middle of the game)?It starts you on an island with a tutorial and then you get into the action so no it does not start in the middle of the game.
The Elements in MotionNOTES
How do the different elements interact?There are so many interactions in this game because you need to set the sails in the right direction and you need to steer and you need yo face the right direction.
What is the gameplay like?The gameplay is very fun and jarring. It is jarring because at one moment you can be sailing the peaceful seas and a megalodon attack’s you or the kraken, or a ghost ship. You really never expect it and it startles you and you have to react.
Is it effective?I think that it is effective all of the pieces in motion feel very smooth and very fun.
Are there any points where the design choices break down?I don’t think that there are I think that it stays pretty consistent with its self .
Design CritiqueNOTES
Why did the designer make these particular choices?To make the game more fun and interesting.
Why this set of resources?To make something different and feel like you really are sailing the seas.
What if they made different decisions?I think that it would have changed completely because I think that the art style fits the game and pirates cant be to serious because then it isn’t fun.
Does the design break down at any point?I don’t think so.
Graphics & SoundNOTES
Does the game art pair well with the mechanics?I think that the art pair perfectly because if it is a super realistic it makes it less funny and and goofy which fits the theme of fantasy pirates more than gritty dark realistic and violent, in my opinion
Did you find any bugs or glitches?Yes, there are many bugs and glitches but they are not very major and can be overcame pretty easily.
What about sound?I think that the sound also fits the game pretty perfectly you can play your own music there are special sounds for shooting different things, there are triumphant sounds when you beat some thing and sad and dark sounds when something bad happens or is about to happen.
Can you spot any technical shortcuts?Not really.
Various Stages of the GameNOTES
To wrap up, some things to keep in mind (as if there aren’t enough already) as you play:
What challenges do you face, and how do you overcome them?You need to find the treasure and safely bring it back to the outpost and you need to protect the treasure from enemy pirates ghost ships, megalodons, and krakens. You can beat these by either thinking of a clever way to out maneuver them or you can brute force it and fight it out.
Is the game fair?Not really, but i think that being a pirate isn’t fair. Much more experienced players with destroy you so you just have to hope to be lucky. But there are no ways to get a better ship or weapons its just cosmetics and better quests.
Is it replayable? Are there multiple paths to victory or optional rules that can change the experience?I think that the game is very repayable because you have to rank up your traders to become a pirate legend which unlocks tons of harder quests and better loot.
What is the intended audience?I think that anyone can enjoy this game.
What is the core, the one thing you do over and over, and is it fun?The core thing is to search, sail, battle, and loot. I think that these things are very fun and i could do them all day.

This analysis form was adapted from



Mr. Le Duc’s Game Analysis Resources

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