The GWJ Adventure Game Club - Game 31: Eastshade

Eastshade (2018)


From Eastshade studios, this game lets you explore the eponymous island as a traveling painter. The world is big and beautiful and your oyster. Speak with the inhabitants, explore forgotten ruins, climb mountains... what you do is up to you!

You can find the game's official website here, usual spoiler warning apply. How Long to Beat estimates about 12 hours to completion. Available platforms are PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Macintosh operating systems, Xbox One. I believe the game is actually available on GamePass.

The main thread is over that way. We'll be playing Eastshade in May 2021, with an extra month should you require it.

I've just played my first two hours, and I cannot overstate how delightful this game is. I ran into a couple of graphical glitches, but they were minor and did not detract from the overall experience. It's pretty, it's chill, it's endearing, it's an instant GOTY candidate for me.

I saw you were streaming but I couldn't join; I was on the road. I just installed the game and I'm gonna start it after I'm done with Darkside Detective.

Eastshade is one of those games that got on my radar from doing TWA, then I forgot to go back and actually check it out. This thread is a nice reminder.

I love the idea of no combat. If I get to it this month I'll post in here for sure.

Even if it isn't this month, the thread will always be open. I squeezed in another hour and a half last night, and I can't wait for the day to be over so I can play more. I think that's saying something!

I was doing quite a bit in the first town when I picked this up months ago but I think I delayed a bit too long and burned out while traveling to the much bigger town. I'll look forward to getting back into it.

OK, I have it and played an hour. So far, so good.

I did enjoy a bit at the very start where you meet someone who asks "Can you remember what happened?" and you say "Of course! I don't have amnesia." Take that, RPG tropes!

I've played about a dozen or so hours of this, having started it either at the end of last year or early this year (around when it was added to Game Pass). It's really a cute and charming little thing. I think of it is almost great in a lot of ways: I like the design of the characters for the most part but they're just a little off? I like the open world except it's a little too big and hard to follow at times (I've had a few quests where I knew what I needed to do and the place I needed to go to but still ended up wandering around in circles for 20 minutes before getting there, which was frustrating). The quests are often interesting little bits of stories but sometimes don't land right or put me in situations where I'm bothered that I don't have a satisfactory response to it (ex. the early quest about a parent who is behaving oddly and it seems like your options are only to report the parent to the cops or tell the person who expresses the concern to you to report it to the cops, neither of which feels like something I want to do). And the world often looks pretty but there's lots of odd lighting issues where the images you're seeing can change dramatically depending on where you're standing, in a way that feels like a bug.

When I first played this, I got fairly far along. I entered the big city, I got a fishing rod, I unlocked a new possible home location, I crossed off at least a dozen or so quests. What caused me to fall off was that there wasn't much making me feel compelled to complete the other quests in my quest log. That's part of this game's charm, to an extent--this is not a "bad guys are going to take over the city unless you, our hero, does something about it!" game, it's very chill. But I would like a little more motivation. But, inspired by this being the game club pick, I'm definitely going to dive back in and try to move along more.

I posted this in the main thread too, but just in case, Eastshade just went on sale on Steam for $12.49. It'll be at that price, they say, until May 17.

A fascinating game, looking forward to seeing how it develops.
And being on Gamepass is nice.

Started playing the other day and I'm enjoying a game so far although I agree with mrlogical that some of the quests are kind of awkward like the one with the possibly abusive parent or the one about playing a prank on the merchant's sibling. Beyond that, at least for now I don't mind that the character's motivation doesn't seem to be to avoid some terrible outcome, but we'll see how it develops.

The way the quests are presented feels like you're being given choices that might matter, but in practice, it kinda seems like the choice is really just "see the end of this quest or don't." Has anyone come across something that felt like you could actually get different outcomes?

So I wrapped it up Sunday night.

I love it. I'm absolutely in love with it. It's pretty, it's well designed (with the world opening up gradually and giving you quality of game upgrades as you go). It's got character, it's got charm, it's got soul.

As for the awkward quests, I also had some reservations. Let me just say that it ultimately pans out in a good way. That's all I'll say without spoilers. And yes, there are different choices (the one with the elixir of life comes to mind). It's an experience, it's a world to inhabit. Those looking for intricate gameplay will undoubtedly be disappointed.

I've played a few more hours now -- got to Nava, the second, bigger city -- and I am really enjoying its mellow vibe. The only slightly jarring element was the early "decide whether to dob a father in to the cops" quest mentioned above, but that took care of itself without me making a decision when the father punched me because I kept going in to his house uninvited.

Now I'm in the big city, I'm taking commissions and have found some sweet-looking items at stores to save up for.

I like how the inspiration system encourages you to take the time to explore, talk to people and read books. All these actions provide inspiration, which you need for doing paintings. I was wandering around some forest, found an owl-dude with a guitar sitting by his campfire, we struck up a conversation and I watched while he played a sweet little song. I went up to a tavern at night and there was an owl-lady telling a story of how centipedes were made. Art for art's sake!

Overall, I'm just really digging the peaceful mood of this game. Often with an RPG, I assume that it's the quality of the combat system that decides whether I finish or not, but Eastshade is reminding me how much joy there is in other systems, if they're done well: exploring, talking to NPCs, finding stuff for crafting, solving quests. Will keep playing for sure!

Also hot tip: you can paint over old pictures, if you're low on canvas and have a few non-masterpieces in your collection.

I finished it in around 10 hours. I enjoyed it. Very chill. The only quest I really had to get help on was


I did not realize I had to use the one drink to find the amulet the Roots guy dropped

Definitely a beautiful game to just play.

I think that after 3-4hs I'm bouncing off of this one. I just jumped back in the game after not playing it for two days and spent the first few minutes remembering all the quests that I had, then the next few minutes trying to figure out the map, and then started walking towards where I wanted to do a quest to remember that I can only walk at a snail's pace and it would take me forever to get there. The game is really pretty and all, but I feel like the slow pace works for me when it is an option, not when it's forced on me.

You know you can run, right? And once you've made it to the city once, there's the fast travel option with the oxen cart, between Nava and Lyndow. And beyond that, you get a neat wooden bicycle at one point! But yeah, I get it, it's not for everyone (like most games).

Haha, yes, but running in this game is as fast as walking in a lot of other games. I just got to a point where the contemplative aspect of the game was beautiful, but I was contemplating the same stuff for the third day in a row and has to walk across half the map to get to a task I wanted to complete. I normally enjoy chill slow-paced games but this one was a bit too slow for my taste. Maybe I'll go back to it if I'm in the mood as I haven't uninstalled it, but for now I started playing something else.

FYI, this is on sale on Steam right now. I really want to grab it, but I just don’t have the time right now.

I haven't played a ton more of this but I did finally acquire a coat, which did break through some important obstacles for me. I have now gone for a ride in the hot air balloon and met a person I'd been looking for. I've also got 2 of the 4 paintings for my mom done. Hooray.

I do wish I had a better sense of the layout of the world. I would appreciate better mapping (just putting where you are on the map would make a huge difference IMO), but I can see how this is the sort of thing that some folks find immersive and enjoyable. I'm at a point where I need to collect water from natural springs, and I know of at least one that I have been to previously yet have no idea how to get back to.

I think the real solution for me to see much more of this game is going to be digging into a walkthrough. I probably will do that, because otherwise I don't expect I'll finish it, but there's enough good stuff in here that I want to see the end.

I could have sworn this came after Heaven's Vault. Anyway, I bought a copy when it was on sale, but wanted to resolve myself with HV first, so I just started. And an early take that probably counts as Hot:


"Oh, this seems to be an Elder Scroll that exists because of more than profit impulse!"

Oh lovely! I'm glad you're diving into it, and I hope you have a great time. I actually had this talk with Shawn, he basically said it looked like a Skyrim mod, and, well... he's not wrong. Let us know how it goes!