Afraid of Water is a top-down strategy title for the Wii U and PC within development by GlassHat Studios. The game is based in an alternate universe wherein cats have become the dominant species on Earth and have developed advanced technology. The species now teeters at the brink of war when the harmony is broken through the split of the species into two factions.
Within the Single-Player mode, there are four character paths which can be chosen at the beginning of the game, each being inter-twined within the game's universe with regards to the war between two factions, the "Feline Naval Treaty" and the colloquially named "Cat-Pirates".
Line 1 - BNT Harvey Dales, July 3rd 568CY
Line 2 - Arch Helmsperson Elm Harett, December 5th 568CY
Line 3 - First Shipwoman Alicia Haigh, December 10th 568CY
Line 4 - The Mistress, July 1st 568CY
Basic ControlsThe game places you in control of what is known as a "Cat-Ship", which is a ship being operated by fellow felines from the FNT/Cat Pirates depending on which faction you are sided with. The ship can be moved around by selecting the ship or using the number assigned to the ship and pressing a space on the map. The ship can also attack enemies by completing the same process, selecting an enemy instead of an empty space. The ship will then attack the enemy using basic weaponry until another enemy is selected or it is destroyed. The ship can also be set to automatically attack enemies whenever they come into range of the ship. Surrounding allied units can also be used to attack an enemy when selected and may create formations around your own ship. By destroying an enemy, the player gains a certain amount of "Battle-Points" which can be used to spawn units or fortifications such as turrets.
There is a minimap available in the corner of the screen which shows known areas of the battlefield, the player is shown major locations marked on the minimap only by the level, areas revealed by a device deployed from an Action Command, allied units or buildings and enemies within the radar range of the cat-ship. The view-region marked on the minimap can either be moved by dragging on the minimap or moving your cursor/dragging the screen in the direction in which you want to move the camera towards, allowing you to see other units or areas of interest. In the multiplayer mode, voice chat is available through the use of a gamepad-attached headset or a computer's headset with options available for teamchat or global-chat - disorderly conduct within the multiplayer mode can be reported and assessed by GlassHat staff.
In the multiplayer mode, the player is able to visit three areas. The Combat Simulation Area is where players are able to queue for battles against other players in real-time, with battles reaching a maximum of 24 players on either side. The Module Commerce Center is where players are able to purchase modules for their ship in order to specialize it for a certain role or to upgrade its present qualities. The final area available in multiplayer is the Player Garage and Ship Storage, where the player is able to select different ships for usage on the field and is able to check statistics such as battle records, maximum kills in certain modes and so forth.
An Action Command is a deployable attack/support move which can be initiated through selection of a designated letter on the keyboard or on the Wii U Gamepad. Action Commands are available by attaching an "AC Module" to your ship, which will allow your ship to be able to use the command. The Command can either be an area-of-effect action such as allied-unit healing, a shockwave which disables enemy systems, a single-enemy effect which can include direct damage, a self-effective action command, a command which can be toggled or a command which deploys a certain device such as a visual marker to show points of interest. The Action Commands generally have a cooldown or a device limit depending on the command in question and will raise a ship's Classification Rank depending on the effectiveness of the AC Module.
Customization of Cat-Ships
In certain sections of the game or within the main-lobby of the Multiplayer mode, the player can purchase "Modules" on the game's market for credits and may attach the said modules to the ship for various benefits or in order to fit certain roles in the game. Modules can range from decorative modules, basic weapon modules or BW Modules, action command modules or AC Modules and passive modules. Each module can be found in different qualities and as modules are installed onto a Cat-Ship the Classification Rank of a Cat-Ship increases depending on the module quality, meaning efficient use of modules is key in order to succeed in the multiplayer as, while in singleplayer the Classification Rank does not matter and is mostly aesthetic, in multiplayer the Classification Rank will determine which ships you are matched with in a game, with the match consisting of those mostly either of an equal or slightly higher or lower Classification Rank. Below is a list of the current classifications within the game:
- I - Attack Craft
- II - Patrol Craft
- III - Corvette
- IV - Frigate
- V - Destroyer
- VI - Cruiser
- VII - Pocket Battleship
- VIII - Battlecruiser
- IX - Battleship
- X - Capitol Ship
Multiplayer Modes & Gameplay
Within the single-player mode the objectives which the player must complete are specific and are unique depending on which plot line is being completed. The Multiplayer mode differs as it consists of more generalized modes. Once a player decides to join a match in the main lobby, the player awaits other players of similar Classification Ranks & Player Level and is eventually assigned a game, a mode and a team. The list of modes and objectives are listed below.
Elimination is a round where ships are required to either destroy the enemy base or to take out all the members of the enemy team. The limit to do this is fifteen minutes and units are available for spawning depending on how many battle-points they have attained. Breakthrough is a similar mode, however the ships are allowed to respawn after several seconds of being destroyed.
Central Control is a mode where a team must capture and control a single point and hold it for a certain amount of time. Central Control's main control point must be held initially for 7 minutes, however 15 seconds is removed from the capture time depending on how many times the control-point is exchanged between the two teams. In the mode, ships are allowed to respawn similarly to how they do in Breakthrough.
Once a game has been completed, the player is awarded credits and XP depending on how well they've done in combat. Credits can be used to purchase new modules as previously mentioned while XP contributes to your overall Player Level, which is a second factor within the game's matchmaking as higher-levels generally mean more experienced players, preventing the act of "Noob Bashing" or "Seal Clubbing" from occurring.
- The graphical style of the game is inspired by games such as Battleships Forever and Shellcore while borrowing elements of gameplay from World of Tanks, TF2 and various MOBAs.
- The design of Elm Harett is heavily inspired from the expression "Fat-Cat", a derogatory term for somebody high in wealth or power.
- The FNT is a parody of NATO, with similar acronyms and purpouses.