Skull and Bones is a myth but this anime sailing game is real and everyone in it is hot

Skull and Bones is currently caught in a delay whirlpool somewhere in Ubisoft's corporate Charybdis, so it's lucky that aptly named naval adventure Sailing Era has come to Steam carrying a boatload of oceanic exploration, capitalism, and hot anime characters to fill the maritime hole in your heart. 

Sailing Era hit Steam (opens in new tab) just yesterday via Chinese publisher bilibili and developer GY Games, and it's apparently coming to Switch and PlayStation later this year. It's got a free demo, too. 

Set in the 15th to 17th centuries, Sailing Era is described as a golden age of exploration where countless navigators strive to make their mark on a rapidly expanding world by establishing trade routes, discovering new lands, and stockpiling enough treasure to make pirate legends look like salty pickpockets. 

GY Games promises "a real-world scale map" with a "highly detailed recreation of the ocean, land, monsoon currents, and weather changes." You'll fight pirates, time constraints, market terms, and nature herself as you journey to over 200 ports seeking allies, wealth, and glory. The array of cultures on display is pretty impressive. We're hitting Japan, Portugal, China, England, and seemingly much more. 

I'm more impressed with the gameplay variety here. Sailing is a simple isometric, arcade-y affair, but there's tons to do on land and at sea. Take on naval battles, ignite or crush trade wars, discover penguins (very important), engage in some casual bounty hunting, negotiate with shipwrights for your dream vessel, and enlist adventurers to beef up your crew for 2D battles on deck. Sailing Era looks like a mercantile JRPG spliced with an exceedingly anime sailing sim, and its promise of absolute player freedom appears to hold water. 

Have a gander at our full new games 2023 list to chart a course through the year ahead. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.