Kickstater Watch: Maelstrom

Kickstater Watch: Maelstrom

Ever since Assassins Creed: Black Flag, I’ve always paid extra attention to any game’s coming out advertising naval combat. This year is saturated with options, from Sea of Theives, to Skull and Bones, but Maelstrom stands out from this crowd, because it has something that I’ve not seen in any of these other games:

Giant. Freaking. Monsters.


Grim fantasy combined with thunderous naval combat in a vibrant, monster-saturated world!  Maelstrom is a third-person strategy game with a focus on multiplayer, fast-paced action, ship-vs-ship tactical combat, in-depth customization and progression.

Every player in Maelstrom commands their own customized warship with a handpicked captain, crew and equipment offering a range of special advantages. From fast Orc raiders focused on ramming and boarding to mighty Human battleships decked out with cannons and armor for a long ranged brawl, there are extensive choices to be made even before a ship hits the water.

At it’s core, Maelstrom is a third-person action strategy game with multiplayer ship-vs-ship combat, featuring a ton of customization and progression options. The cherry on top of all this is the fact that the world of Maelstrom is infested with sea monsters and nautical nightmares, threatening to appear and drastically change the battlefield at a moments notice.

I’m really not sure why this concept has cropped up before. A high-fantasy setting on the high seas has me incredibly excited, and the team has already showed so many  customization options that I feel very secure that there’s going to plenty of content to explore, even during Early Access.

Currently, the game has ships that can be captained by Orcs (Fast, Boarding focused), Dwarves (slow, heavily armored, can reverse) & Humans (maneuverable, lots of firepower), but more races and ships are already planned, such as the Undead, Goblins, Elves, and Ogres.

On your ship, you’ll be able to customize the Captain (which will determine your special ability, called a “Captain’s Trick”), your mates (Which give you all sorts of different buffs and abilites), and your vessel’s equipment, which can be swapped and changed to create vastly different types of warships.


Interestingly, this is actually Maelstrom’s second Kickstarter. During their first attempt at crowdfunding, The Gunpowder Games team recieved a prestigious Epic Development grant, and subsequently canceled their first campaign so they could focus on making the game even better, instead of chasing funding, which I think speaks volumes.

Gunpowder Games aren’t even using this Kickstarter for more funding to get the game released. Maelstrom will enter Steam Early Access in April 2018 no matter if the Kickstarter goal is met or not. This Kickstarter is intended to help build a dedicated community and to get some more feedback via playtests in the weekend.

“A Steam Early Access release today is as important as a full release, we want to play with seriously interested players to help us hone and test before early access launch, and begin to build a community that culminates into a healthy multiplayer environment well into release.”

– Blaine Smith, Lead Developer

The Maelstrom Kickstarter is looking to raise $10,000 before March 27th, and has already raised $5,829 at the time of publication, almost 60% of its funding goal.

There are a ton of different backer rewards being offered, from the full game, to exclusive ship skins and crew, to access to first-look weekend playtests. If you’re interested in any of the specifics, head over to the crowdfunding page directly.

You can also find out more information about Maelstrom on its Steam Page.

*Disclaimer: The Author has not backed the game discussed in this article on Kickstarter as of publication. All opinions are the authors own, and the objectivity of the piece may be influenced by any of the authors own biases as stated in the article or in this disclaimer.*

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Editor-in-Chief of With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He's particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.

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