Parents' Guide to


By Carolyn Koh, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Sandbox pirate game provides creative but repetitive play.

Game Linux , Mac , Windows 2015
Windward Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Windward is set in a world that grows with you. The game is easy to learn, and there's nothing overly complex, so players will quickly get into it without much of a learning curve. Even better is that as your ship improves and your talents grow, so do the pirates and the allies you encounter. This can lead to entertaining in-game encounters, such as allies exclaiming, "Hey lads, there's (your ship's name)," when they sail near your vessel. But the overall essence of the game is a simple sailing sandbox game without an overarching story line or "save the village"-type goals. In effect, Windward is very much like a light version of Sid Meier's Pirates, in that it lets players determine what they want to do when they want to do it.

That means players can choose to sail the seas, charting the islands they come across, perform trade between different ports, or go hunting for pirates. The way you play will help direct the upgrades you'll want to make to your ship, as well as the kinds of skills your captain acquires. What's nice about the open nature of the game is that if you make a bad decision, you can quickly and randomly generate a new game world or edit it to your liking. That's actually necessary, because while the open-world nature of the game is one of Windward's strengths, it actually winds up being it's greatest weakness. Since there's no story, players will find themselves constantly sailing from one place to another, which quickly becomes repetitive and boring. Sailing and boat fans may find Windward amusing for a while, but unless you're willing to make up stories on your own about your captain and crew, you may play it for a while and then look for a more directed story experience.

Game Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate