Uncharted Waters 2: New Horizons is the sequel to the original Uncharted Waters
game. The game involves sailing and trading around the world in the in 16th-century as the captain of a ship or fleet of ships. Although mostly popular in Asia, the game was released on the SNES, PC, Playstation and Genesis systems.
There are six playable characters in New Horizons:
Son of the Portugese nobleman Leon, who seeks to follow the family tradition of exploration. The task given to him by his father is to find the lost city of Atlantis
Spanish naval officer who turns to a life of piracy. She seeks to uncover the truth about who is responsible for the deaths of her brother and her fiance.
Fights for the glory of England as a commissioned privateer. Aims to hamper the efforts of Spain in Europe and defeat the Spanish fleet.
Ernst von Bohr
Dutch cartographer, who receives a mission from his friend, the cartographer Mercator, to create a map of the entire world.
Italian adventurer who inherited his fathers debt. Travels the globe to find treasue and somehow repay the debts.
Merchant from Turkey. Coming from meager beginnings, he seeks fortune though trade as he searches for his lost sister, Sapha.
Although open ended
, New Horizons does have specific story lines based on the character you choose to play as. The different characters start out in locations based on their nationality, with different skills and equipment, as well as different crew. For example, if you decide to play as Joao Franco, you begin collecting crew and buying trade goods. You also get a first mate, a friend of your father, as well as a ship book keeper who wants you to find a distant land in the east in return for his services. These extra characters are unique to Joao Franco's game story, and each of the other characters will have similar encounters with unique characters.
The people you meet along the way become great assets as they add valuable skills to your expidition. Continuing with the previous example, a skilled book keeper will be able to help you determine if the prices of goods are too high, as well as where to find bargain prices for certain goods. This leads us to a large part of the game, at least for some of the characters in the game: trade.
As your character travels though the plethora of ports that can be found in the game, you will discover trading posts that sells local goods. You can buy and sell as much as you want given that you have enough room in the cargo holds of your ships, and enough gold. The cargo hold is also used to store food and water for the crew of your fleet, so this is a major balacing act that must be carefully contemplated. Every port has a specialty item that can be purchased at a reduced price. Some ports are controlled by a particular regime, e.g. the Ottoman Empire or Kingdom of England. This will lead to taxation of every transaction, unless you have a tax exemption document from the leader of that particular faction.
Sailing is a major part of this game and you will spend much of your time on the worlds perilous oceans. Once you have built up a capable fleet, you can begin travelling across these oceans, discovering new lands, creatures, and exotic landmarks. These discoveries will impact your game depending on your character and the nature of the discovery. Some discoveries will harm your crew and some will bring you great fortune. As mentioned earlier, the major concern when travelling is the amount of food and fresh water you have with you. Given enough food you can travel for weeks, although you may not always get as far as you would like due to storms and pirates. Depending on the season, certain oceans are dangerous to fare though, and can even be deadly if you are too far from shore and unable to make an emergency landing.
Piracy is another aspect to the game where you can either be the aggresor or the victim. Certain ship types can be loaded with cannon, and can take down enemy ships. Duel the captain of another fleet and you may take over some of their ships or goods. Your sword and armor becomes important factor during duels, and can be aquired at the different ports for a price. Missions can be aquired from guild quarters in some of the larger ports. These missions can either consist of finding a port, finding an exotic animal, or defeat a notorious pirate. When playing as a non-pirate being attacked by pirates can be very dangerous, depending on the crew delegation you have decided on. You can decide what percentage of your crew is tasked with navigation, lookout and combat. Set Navigation to 0%, and get nowhere, set Lookout to 0% and see only things directly next to your fleet. This is another element that must be balanced depending on the type of game you seek to play.
There are other gameplay components such as port investments, where you donate part of your gold to the economy of a port. Investment over time will allow the given port to prosper and become a source of the best ships or the best source of a certain trade good. What ports to invest in is up to the player to discover. You can also loan money from banks, that will send loan sharks after you if unpaid.