PS5 Review: Ship of Fools

Does this roguelike sink or swim?

Ship of Fools is a seafaring roguelike co-op game where you play the Fools, the only creatures fool enough to brave the sea. The Great Lighthouse that once protected the Archipelago is broken and a storm of malice and corruption is coming. Together, you and your ship mate will jump aboard The Stormstrider and make your voyage across the sea. Man the cannons, ready your sails and protect your ship from sea monsters over multiple runs. It’s up to you to defend your home from the almighty Aquapocalypse.

Ship of Fools reminds me of Sea of Thieves in a few ways: It’s great when you have other players working together at different parts of the ship to defend, sail or attack but it’s damn tough to do solo. The same applies here as you begin easily enough trying to navigate your ship through waves of enemies, reloading cannons, firing them and repeat, while just trying to keep your ship up and running. It does become notoriously tougher as you carry on, but you can get a good number of upgrades to help you on your journey.

Its not only more satisfying to play with an extra player in co-op, but a damn sight easier too. Dividing up roles makes the game a rewarding experience and while the variety of the challenge is limited, you’ll no doubt be having a fun time on the high seas. The presentation of the game is well done with a charming visual style that reminds me of other roguelike games like Sword of Ditto.

The crux of it comes down to if you have someone to play with or not. If not, then you might find the game at times quite brutal and just isn’t anywhere near as enjoyable. The good news is that the game doesn’t suffer any performance woes or bugs and the framerate is solid, while load times are almost non-existent.

The Verdict

Ship of Fools is a fun game that is enjoyed best in short bursts and definitely with another player. Solo play can be frustrating and cruel in comparison, but if you have a shipmate to help you then you’ll find a rewarding experience here.

Score: 7.0