In the year [[AlternativeCalendar 20 P.S.]], you and rival captain Sir Lester Marwood make a "friendly" bet to see which of the two is the best explorer. According to the terms of [[TitleDrop the wager]], each of you has a whole sector of the high seas entirely to himself to explore; whichever of you amasses the most [[GlobalCurrency Pieces]] through his voyages in one year wins the bet, keeping both his profits and those of the winner.

''The Wager'' is an ActionAdventure game in the vein of ''StarControl II'' or ''SidMeiersPirates'', though much shorter[[note]]You can play a full game in less than half an hour[[/note]] and more streamlined. You have a ship and a small crew with which you venture forth to find and claim unsettled islands. Your main source of income comes from exploring these islands for resources, then selling the settlement rights to prospective colonists back at your home port. You can also find items which you can either sell for a little extra cash or keep in hopes that they'll be useful later on, and you can buy upgrades which will allow you to sail farther and faster. You'll have to keep a close eye on your ship's health and supplies, though, and also be on your guard against other threats to your safety and welfare.

''The Wager'' was designed by Surprised Man Games for Ludum Dare 20 and is available [[http://www.surprisedman.co.uk/the-wager/ here]].

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!!This game provides examples of:

* AfterTheEnd: This game takes place twenty years after an event known only as "the Shattering," which was apparently spectacular enough to alter the world's geography but left humanity seemingly intact.
* [[AnEntrepreneurIsYou A Glorified Real Estate Agent Is You]]
* BoldExplorer: Both you and your rival.
* ButThouMust: If you don't have the appropriate item to solve your dilemma in certain random events, your options become rather limited.
* CapturedByCannibals: One possible random event.
* FeedTheMole: Possible to do with Marwood's spies.
* GlobalCurrency: Pieces.
* {{Jerkass}}: Sir Lester Marwood periodically sends you insults via carrier pigeon. You can track your progress (somehow) by the quality of his handwriting.
* PirateParrot: And a rather foul-mouthed one, at that.
* TheRival: Sir Lester Marwood.
* RandomEncounters / RandomEvent: Each time you explore an island, you'll get a chance to trigger one of these. A few also occur on the high seas.
* SeaMonster: One of the aforementioned random encounters.
* SettlingTheFrontier: You make money by claiming different islands and selling the settlement rights to prospective colonists.