Review: Ready, Steady, Ship! – Unleash Your Shipping Skills

Review Ready Steady Ship

Overcooked has managed to start its own genre of co-op competitive games where you and other players are not playing against each other but must work together against the game and its numerous challenges. Ready, Steady, Ship! is another similar title that pretty much follows the same formula: a top-down view, cartoony visuals, time limits, a hybrid of physics-based and arcade gameplay mechanics, and challenging levels to complete while overcoming all of the odds against you. It does however jump into a brand-new category of theme which is shipping boxes. It also manages to bring its unique charm to the table which sets it apart from the rest of the bunch. This is our review of Ready, Steady, Ship! on the PS5 in which we use forklifts to pick up heavy packages and try not to fall inside a grinder while recycling broken conveyor belts.

Ready, Steady Ship! may have one of the best publishers out there, Untold Tales, but it is developed by a solo developer known as Jollybits Games. Despite coming out of such humble beginnings, this game is nothing but a fun-filled challenging co-op game that is surely going to have you laughing on the floor as you try to complete different puzzles to ensure timely delivery of packages. There are two main modes to play the game. It is basically the same mode which is the main campaign of the game but depending on how many players you have, you can either jump into the co-op campaign or the solo campaign of the game. With that said, Ready, Steady, Ship! is essentially made to be played in co-op and this is how you should experience it as well.

Review Ready Steady Ship

When you first start playing the game, you are introduced to the basic gameplay mechanics where the game teaches you about its conveyor belts and how you must use them to move around boxes quickly. As you move ahead, you are gradually introduced to more challenging aspects of the game such as multiple colored boxes, each with their unique destinations. You must try your best to ensure that the right color box is going to its exit point because otherwise, you will lose stars. You will find six unique environments in the game where each environment has five different levels and each of these levels is further divided into three stages. However, you must complete all three stages of a level in one go because they are all connected and once you have completed a stage, you will instantly move to the next stage through a door.

At first, you will have the simple task of picking up boxes, placing them on the conveyor belts, and switching them on to deliver the boxes. However, as you progress in the game, multiple challenges start appearing in each of these levels. Initial levels are simple, and they only feature puzzles like missing parts of conveyor belts, scattered all over the map. You have to quickly find the right sections and join them back to complete the conveyor belt track and switch on the delivery process with switches. As you progress, you will encounter heavier sections that cannot be moved or rotated as easily as the normal ones. Similarly, in certain stages, you will have one starting conveyor belt with two separate exits, and you have to switch the joining section to either of these exits on the go to ensure that the right color box is heading inside the right color exit.

Review Ready Steady Ship

Further progression introduces some advanced mechanics such as using forklifts to lift heavier packages and even cranes which are a blast to operate. Some cool mini-game-like elements are also eventually thrown into the mix like fragile conveyor belt sections which must be fixed quickly or else they are broken and must be recycled to create new ones or like adding small machines that fold boxes and put packing peanuts into them. Apart from managing everything else as well, you have to complete these mini-game-like sections on the go because otherwise, you will not be able to complete the levels in time. Later sections add different environmental hazards as well like narrow passages and acid pools. You can die in other silly places like falling down the crusher where you must recycle the conveyor belt sections so these challenges add to the game’s overall difficulty level.

The gameplay is fairly easy to understand however you might take some time initially to understand the new mechanics when they are introduced in the campaign like driving the forklift or using the crane. The gameplay is not purely physics-based because they are a lot more forgiving. Your characters will glide around a bit but they feel tight most of the time. However, the forklift on the other hand is a completely different story. It will glide all over the place and if you are not too careful with driving it around, anything you have picked up will always fall. The boxes need careful handling as well because they will fall down the conveyor belts, get jammed in straight sections, and even start piling up if you take too much time in mini-game sections like packing peanuts or folding them. Overall, I still think that the gameplay mechanics are a lot more forgiving when you compare it with other titles like Overcooked or Gang Beasts which is purely a physics-based title.

Review Ready Steady Ship

Each level has two challenges that you need to beat to progress in the game. One is stars and the other is time. The time limits are fairly manageable for nearly all of the levels with tougher levels offering even 10 minutes for the shortest challenge. If you fail to complete the level in the slowest time option as well, you will fail the level. The other challenge is getting stars, and this is determined by the number of boxes that you ship out in each level. You must have a perfect run at every level to obtain all stars. While the stars are unique to each stage of a level, the time is the same for all three stages of a single level since they are connected. You have to complete all three stages immaculately to reach the best possible time for that level.

The game offers both a solo campaign and a co-op campaign. The solo levels are mostly similar to the co-op ones, but they are modified to suit single-player gameplay more. The challenge level also drops down fairly when compared with its co-op gameplay and this is a major drawback of the game. Ready, Steady, Ship! is made for co-op gameplay and this is how it must be played. There is no online multiplayer as well which makes it strictly an offline solo or co-op title. For me, Ready, Steady, Ship! is best in local coop as well because the solo mode just feels lonely. It is challenging as well but the co-op campaign levels are better overall, and it is just a blast to throw around boxes and mess up deliveries with someone rather than being completely alone.

All of this combines to deliver a co-op title that looks wacky, plays great, and offers enough challenge to spend a lot of fun weekends with your friends and family. The levels are fairly larger compared to other games in a similar genre so you can easily complete one or two levels and be fairly entertained. It has its own unique charm and aesthetics, which is great because other titles in this genre are fairly similar in gameplay and visuals, and it is somewhat hard to differentiate from all titles.

Final Verdict:

Ready, Steady, Ship! is easily one of the best new co-op titles to release across the PS5. It not only is easy to get into but the challenge level increases at a pace that is easy to understand and enjoy at the same time. It manages to remain fun while offering to be challenging at the same time. If you love to play challenging co-op competitive titles, you must try Ready, Steady, Ship! because it not only is unique and feels different, but it is also greatly accessible for players of all skill levels. Highly recommended for PS5 players currently looking for fun co-op titles or fans of games like Overcooked.

Final Score: 8.5/10

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About the Author: Umair Khalid

Founder of GamesHedge, Umair enjoys a wide variety of video games ranging from RPGs to racing games. Currently busy with The Crew Motorfest and Way of the Hunter.

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