By Joseph Luster

Originally released for PS Vita in Japan, followed by a worldwide PC release on Steam, Neo Atlas 1469 is a simulation game that puts players in the role of the master of a trading company. Set in 15th-century Europe, you simply hire admirals, listen to their reports, and draw a world map based on what they have to say. Your map is based on your own approvals and disapprovals of said reports, so what you choose to believe will very literally shape the way you see the world. The next stop for ARTDINK’s intriguing game is Nintendo Switch, which could definitely use something along these lines.

It sounds simple enough, but there’s more to Neo Atlas than mere yays, nays, and the bizarro map that results from listening to the wrong people. You also need to divvy out wages for your admirals so they can continue to discover new aspects of the world and report on them. You can make a tidy profit by setting up new trade routes along the way, and establishing routes that cause certain produce combinations to interact may even end up creating a brand new product. Trade that in for even more profits and, well, you get the picture. There are also treasures hidden across the map, and you can use a dowsing tool to discover them for yourself.

The most interesting part of the experience is seeing what kind of map you end up with, though. It could be very similar to the map we know today, or you could end up with hundreds of continents sitting impossibly close to one another. In a partially discovered world still believed to be flat, there are no real limits to the interpretive possibilities, but hopefully you end up with at least a few trustworthy admirals during your playthrough. At the time of this writing it’s unclear whether this will be a budget release on Switch, or even if it’s going to be digital-only, but it’s a great candidate for the system. At the right price, Neo Atlas 1469 will be a rare specimen worth investigating on Nintendo’s red-hot console/portable hybrid.

Publisher: Arc System Works
Genre: Shooter
System(s): PC, Switch
Available: Now

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