Whatever Floats Your BoatStoryteller mode certainly makes progress easier since enemies are weaker, and if you die you can restart with your full inventory intact at the beginning of your current chapter rather than all the way back at the start. But Windbound’s plot is so scarce, and its objectives so repetitive, that once you’ve stripped away the more challenging survival mechanics and roguelike structure you really aren’t left with a particularly engrossing adventure. Each of the five chapters of Windbound feature three randomly placed but structurally indistinct tower beacons that must be found and activated before you can pass through an exit portal. The story, or what evidence there is of one, is mostly told either through cryptic text that occasionally appears onscreen or via a static mural that is gradually revealed upon the completion of each chapter. That’s it. In story terms there’s no reason to really explore Windbound’s waters since, at least from my time with it, there appears to be no characters to meet or unique structures to uncover. There’s just not enough mystery to lure me into clearing the fog off each of its maps, since invariably the most exciting discoveries to make are merely shrines to increase the limits of your health and stamina bars. Windbound hints at an ocean of possibilities at its outset, but ultimately delivers an adventure with all the depth and excitement of a wading pool. [poilib element="quoteBox" parameters="excerpt=Windbound%20hints%20at%20an%20ocean%20of%20possibilities%20at%20its%20outset%2C%20but%20ultimately%20delivers%20an%20adventure%20with%20all%20the%20depth%20and%20excitement%20of%20a%20wading%20pool."]In fact, the biggest mystery that confounded me in Windbound was trying to figure out why the developers didn’t include a minimap. I’m totally in favour of eliminating minimaps to make exploration in open-world games more immersive - most recently exemplified by Ghost of Tsushiba - but I honestly feel like that’s a far more practical design choice when you have landmarks to navigate by. In the case of Windbound, the lack of a minimap or even a simple compass meant I was constantly pausing to check the in-menu map as I sailed across huge swathes of empty ocean with nothing on the horizon to orient myself with, which made already lengthy journeys even more sluggish.