I must admit, I bought Dredge because it looked fairly decent and I have a bunch of Steam Wallet credits (thanks, CSGO skin sales!). But I'm not a big RPG person. But, my gaming output has been weird lately thanks to having kids, needing to chill out more and snagging missions here/there rather than having all-night sessions.
So I jumped into Dredge thinking it'd be fine, but nothing wild. And I was right and wrong all at once. It's more than fine, but also nothing wild. It's not a thrill-a-minute kind of action game. It's a reasonably slow paced RPG game where you play a fisherman in a boat, running around a series of islands to do missions, earn money and upgrade your boat over time. There is definitely an air of creepiness around it, particularly as night falls, but I'll get to that.
Some reviewers have called this 'gothic' and having some element of horror. I wouldn't dismiss that outright, but it feels disingenuous to call the game anything like a gothic tale, horror, etc. It's more creepy than scary. One big mechanic is being able to tell how much panic is being induced by your character as you sail around. This gets worse as night falls, which happens pretty quick as in-game time moves fast, and moves when you're sailing, dredging or fishing. Time management is a big part of the game, as the more time spent awake, the less you can see, the more panic is induced by your protagonist and the more artefacts show up on screen. And at night, the game is creepy enough as-is with fog, poor weather, noises, slithering fish, etc.
The RPG elements are pretty simple. Which might be why it clicked with me. The game rapidly gets you through the basics of managing time, catching fish and upgrading your boat. Over time, those upgrades allow you to catch more fish, catch fish in various places (oceanic versus coastal, for example), get your ship to move faster, etc. Fishing, dredging for treasures in the ocean and then selling them on is simple. And the story is really just a vehicle for the mechanics of exploring the map in your boat. It's a means to an end.
Overall, this is a brilliant title. I've found myself daydreaming about it, wanting to play more. Telling my wife to watch a less engaging show in the evening so I can play Dredge while she watches something mundane. I absolutely can't recommend this enough.