This tropical survival game is scratching my Wind Waker itch by adding sailing and mysterious ruins

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The kids are all about building bases these days, and while Valheim sets itself apart with nordic flair, Len's Island (opens in new tab) heads in the opposite direction, presenting players with sunny shores and impeccable vacation vibes. The early access game just got a sizable expansion, Uncharted Waters, that adds new biomes, as well as some slick boats to explore them with.

I've always thought games leave too many nautical possibilities on the table, and there's very little out there that satisfies my Age of Sail fantasies like The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker or Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire. Australian developer Flow Studio has come to fulfill a glaring need, and I find myself enticed by Len's Island's new sailing system.

The game procedurally generates an archipelago for you to explore, and I think Flow Studios have hit on something special by making that sense of discovery in Wind Waker almost infinitely repeatable. The trailer for Uncharted Waters mostly shows off the Scooty Puff Jr. dinghy you start out with, but there are glimpses of later upgrades as well, including a spiffy Chinese junk (opens in new tab).

Those islands can contain ancient ruins to explore, and they look like intriguing, multilayered affairs. The trailer shows off jumping puzzles and monumental entrances, and I love the sense of leaving the bright sunny days behind for these mysterious, dusty interiors. The tombs will also have monsters to fight with Len's Island's new "skill-driven" combat system and character upgrades.

Uncharted Waters overhauls base building and farming, including adding an NPC village called Bridgewater. Similar to your own constructions, you can upgrade and cultivate Bridgewater, and grateful NPCs will trade with you in turn.

The Uncharted Waters update is live now for all owners of Len's Island, and the game is currently on a 40% off sale on Steam (opens in new tab).

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.