Dredge is an upcoming boating game that combines the peaceful gameplay of fishing, exploring and upgrading ships with an element of space horror where you unravel the mystery of something dark and scary hidden beneath the depths, and to celebrate its recent discovery of the discovery of previous orders, developer Black Salt Games has released a free demo that you can download right now at Nintendo Switch.
The title is slated to launch on all major platforms, but it looks like Nintendo made some kind of promotional deal with it since the demo is exclusive to the Switch. None of Dredge’s marketing materials explicitly state how much of the game you can play with this demo, but IGN the preview suggests you’ll get at least a few hours of gameplay.
This Dredge preview also shows previously detailed gameplay mechanics in action, as well as revealing some of the title’s mysterious horror elements and how they play out while sailing on the high seas. The normal game cycle revolves around going out to sea, fishing, and returning to port to sell your bounty. Complementing this cycle is a diverse progression system where you can use your money to buy new fishing rods, nets and ship parts.
You can also talk to many of the land dwellers to take part in side quests, which usually involve finding things in the sea for them. Dredge has a seemingly open map and you can explore the surrounding waters and their scattered islands at your leisure, as long as your ship can handle it ie; the ocean has its dangers.
Some big fish can be strong enough to attack you, while careless surfing of the waves can cause you to crash into the rocks and damage your hull. Far more terrifying, however, is the danger to your own psyche as you begin to harness the powers of a mysterious tome you find beneath the depths.
Sometimes you see red-eyed ravens strangely circling around your ship, seemingly aimlessly. At night, the terrain can change without warning, rocks suddenly appear from the darkness, and disturbing images can confuse you about what’s real and what’s not, like the merging of eyeballs peering from afar.
Dredge launches on March 30 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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