Lovecraft and family-friendly don’t typically mix. Dread Nautical‘s abstract, cartoon art style looks like the least scary eldritch horror game I’ve ever seen. I consider that a plus.

The tactical strategy game is out now on PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One. Here is the official description:

On this mysterious and captivatingly eerie cruise liner known as the Hope, players must navigate twenty randomly-generated ship decks while gathering food, supplies, weapons, and creating alliances with fellow survivors in order to fight off the overwhelming supernatural forces. The survivors must work together to escape this “vacation” alive or risk being consumed by their otherworldly captors.

Dread Nautical is a turn-based tactical-strategy RPG. Play as one of four different survivors, including ex-Yakuza Hatano, lounge singer Miraje, and trenchcoat-wearing detective Fargo.

Survivors will explore kitchens, dining rooms, lounges, and offices, finding survivors, food, equipment, and artifacts. The cruise ships are also full of nightmarish creatures.

Combat plays out like XCOM. Everyone takes turns using action points to move around and use weapons and abilities. Players will need to manage their resources, upgrade their safe haven, and survive the nightmare.

Dread Nautical is developed by Zen Studios, best known for the Pinball FX series. It’s available now on PC and consoles, and rated E10+.

Eric Watson

Eric Watson

Eric has been writing for over five years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.