GAME NAME: Burly Men at Sea
PLATFORM(S): PC, Mac, Android, iOS
RELEASE DATE(S): September 29, 2016
I went into this game blind, and I think that was a mistake for a few reasons. The first thing I will say is that I do not think this should be called an adventure game. I think the best description that could be said about this is that it is an “experience”.
I’ll be blunt. This experience isn’t even that good. It’s not that engaging. That said, I come from an era of video games influenced by Half Life, Unreal Tournament, Jak and Daxter, Oblivion, etc. Video games should involve some semblance of strategy, skill, risk avoidance, or just involvement, in my opinion. The game essentially comes down to clicking to the left, the right, and on contextual objects/people/items in scripted parts.
I know what you’re thinking, but Cody what about Kings Quest! That’s an old click adventure game! Yes, Kings Quest 1 is a game, a fun game at that. However, after the control scheme the resemblances end there. There’s not really any problem solving involved here. There aren’t any puzzles. There isn’t that feeling that you can make a mistake. There isn’t really any gameplay or player involvement outside of what do I want to click on next or what path do I want to take.
The paths are very linear, often with one or two branching options and some you are forced into by going to an end of a hallway first, instead of the other, and click on an item. Yet this is somewhat mitigated by the fact that after branching down one of the game’s paths for about 10 minutes it brings you back to the beginning to start over again, and go and see what you could have done differently. But to be honest, after the first two times going through the game I didn’t feel invested enough in these characters (a shame because I am quite a burly man myself) or the story to continue going through it. This game does not have achievements in it, Steam or otherwise.
The confusing menu makes it hard to determine how to actually close out the game. I found it easier to just alt+F4 instead of finding the exit button (if there is one). It also would have been nice to be able to have a video/sound options menu.
I feel like I’ve bashed it enough to give you some positives. It’s beautiful. The minimalist art style is great, everything is nice on the eyes.
The sound design is also fantastic and that really improves the atmosphere. Every sound in the game was generated by a human mouth or an acapella of voices.
It’s also quite humorous at some points and some parts during the story I thought were clever. Yet, there is this feeling inside me that this would have been better suited as an animated short (series of shorts) instead of a game. If you enjoyed Dear Esther you will most likely enjoy this, otherwise I would recommend you skip this one and spend your $10 elsewhere.
Game not rated by ESRB. No Objectional Content Found. The PC version of this game was provided by the developer for the review.