Well, my earlier glowing review of Eastshade has been tempered somewhat by bugs I have encountered, which have sort of ruined the game for me. Frankly, at this point, I’m just going to wait until the developers issue an update with some bug fixes, because it’s just too frustrating to keep playing.
The first bug I encountered was partly my own stupid fault. I built a raft and got stuck on the island where the Sinkwood Inn is located. It turns out I thought I had done all I could do, and I stayed overnight and prepared to leave the next morning. But when I pulled my raft out of inventory, and prepared to board it, the game told me it was too stormy to use it! (And it was clear, sunny morning with a bright blue sky.) Even worse than that, was that it wouldn’t let me pack the raft up again! So I lost that raft. (I did not know that this particular quest, unlike the others, forced you to stay in one place and solve it before leaving. All the other quests you could do in parts, leaving and coming back again.)
I filed a bug report, and I discovered that there was a way to solve my being marooned on that island by using a special command to take me back to the starting point of the game. (Yes, it was a cheat, but the bug report form told me what to do to solve my problem, and I did it.)
The problem with that solution? Every single time thereafter, whenever I tried to build a new raft and use it, ANYWHERE IN THE GAME, it told me that it was too stormy out! I eventually gave up (this happened after four days of gameplay), I uninstalled the game, reinstalled it, and then started over again. From scratch.
This time, after racing around for several hours, I was able to retrace all the key steps to build my raft, cross the river, and begin exploring the other side. Only to come smack up against another bug in the game. In Eastshade, you can build or buy canvases on which to paint the scenery around you, which you can then give or sell to various people you meet. Several quests in the game revolve around this.
Well, guess what? After the first three canvases I built, every time I built or bought a canvas, it didn’t appear in my inventory!!! Eventually, I ran out of canvases, and I again had to give up on the game. (At least I could explore, but I couldn’t finish the game without canvases.)
Let that be a lesson to me. NEVER buy a game just after it has been released, unless you inadvertently want to become one of the software testers. This has been an exercise in sheer frustration to me, and despite the laudatory non-combat nature of Eastshade, and its gorgeous open-world scenery, I can no longer in good faith recommend this game until the developers, Eastshade Studios, fixes a few bugs and glitches which impede gameplay and ruin the game. (Sorry, guys.)
UPDATE March 15th: Well, I played around with Eastshade a bit more and now I realize that the blank canvases I made and bought are still there, but only the most recent blank canvas is accessible. The way that this game handles the canvases in your inventory is confusing as hell. I had thought that I wasn’t getting new blank canvases because I couldn’t see any of them in my inventory. In my opinion, the game needs to handle this better. However, I was actually able to complete the main quests and finish the game.