Despite its genuinely breathtaking scenery and interesting castaway premise, Windbound is ultimately a let down. Neither compelling as a survival simulation nor captivating as a story-based experience, Windbound is fundamentally all at sea and should be given a wide berth.
From a distance, Windbound is a gorgeous oceanic adventure with a fun sailing system that isn't afraid to push back, but up close, the cracks start to show. The game makes a great first impression that ultimately wears thin by the time you've mastered its repetitive resource-gathering roguelike loop.
Although bogged down by some rather technical gaffes, there’s a satisfaction that comes from exploring each area, scavenging for resources, and building an awesome sailboat to take you between islands. A little tightening up would take Windbound into the realm of open-world survival games that it’s trying to be a part of, but as it stands, it’s doing its best to stay afloat.
Windbound has its moments. Much of the time, it was relaxing enough to zone out and search for crafting materials. But the game is built around finding towers, and that process becomes significantly less fun after the first level. There are only so many times you can search for a tower, no matter how winsome the presentation.
Windbound is a survival game with a strong focus on crafting, environmental storytelling and exploration mostly through sailing.
Windbound is a genuinely enjoyable experience. With its charming visuals, rewarding gameplay, and earnest game design, it has successfully sailed across the sea of mediocre single-player survival games and reached a new high.