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Call of the Sea – the jungle is your name. Review / Games


Genre Quest, adventure
Publisher Raw fury games
Developer Out of the Blue Games
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i3-3220 3.3 GHz / AMD FX-6100 3.3 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 1 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 / AMD Radeon HD 7750, 20 GB hard disk , Steam, GOG or Microsoft Store account
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0 GHz / AMD Ryzen R7 1700 3.0 GHz, 16 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 4 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
release date December 8, 2020
Age qualification From 18 years old
Platforms PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Series S
Official site

Played on PC

Every time when the announcement of the game sounds “inspired by the work of Lovecraft”, one already wants to yawn. Affected by a slight oversaturation of the “indescribable nightmare”, which, as they just did not transmit. The young Spanish studio Out of the Blue Games has taken a completely different path. According to the guys, Call of the Sea is not a story about plunging into the abyss of madness. On the contrary, she talks about finding herself.

Eh, here to go on vacation

Eh, here to go on vacation

⇡ #Mysterious Island

Nora Everhart suffers from a mysterious hereditary illness. Unfortunately, medicine cannot help. The husband, Harry, is not going to put up with this state of affairs and goes on an expedition in search of a cure for the faithful. Events take place in the thirties of the XX century, so the only opportunity for spouses to communicate is letters that the husband regularly sends from his trip. But suddenly they stop coming. Soon, in the mailbox, the heroine finds a mysterious message with a photograph of Harry and the coordinates of an island in the Pacific Ocean, not far from Tahiti. Without thinking twice, Nora goes in search of her lover.

Call of the Sea from the first shots envelops a cozy, warm atmosphere. We land on a beautiful paradise island – here we would go on vacation. The heroine echoes the feelings of the player – this wonderful place literally fills her with energy after long months of imprisonment at home. Nora immediately notices the traces of the expedition and begins her journey along the “bread crumbs” inland. Danger awaits here at every turn: no hostile natives, deadly traps or bloodthirsty monsters. The gameplay harmoniously complements the pacifying atmosphere and slightly cartoonish visual style, full of bright and warm colors.

Most of the time we have to solve various puzzles. Unlike modern adventures performed by, for example, Frictional Games, which rely on everyday logic to build puzzles, Call of the Sea is a kind of hello from the past. Riddles are not built into the world, but, on the contrary, the world itself is built around puzzles. Fortunately, Out of the Blue managed to make sure not to scare off newcomers to the genre from the project.

In some locations you have to run around looking for clues. At such moments I want Nora to be a little quicker

In some locations you have to run around looking for clues. At such moments I want Nora to be a little quicker

Each location offers to solve a complex task in order to move to the next site and repeat the process there. The difficulty curve grows very smoothly, starting with basic questions and learning the principles on which all the puzzles in the game are built. The heroine keeps a diary, where she writes down any little thing related to each individual puzzle. For example, if you need to reproduce a pattern or sequence depicted at the other end of the level, you do not need to keep the desired image in memory or make notes in a notebook – the game will do it for you. This does not make the tests easier, but it is more convenient to overcome them.

Let me clarify for context: to master the classic adventures from LucasArts, I had to constantly turn to the help of “solutions” (remember this word from another life?). On the other hand, some Amnesia did not cause any noticeable difficulties – I ran it without hesitation. Call of the Sea sits somewhere between these two extremes. The game requires an effort and thought, but it won’t take hours to fight over one riddle – in ten minutes, having thoroughly studied the surroundings, I understood the plan and came up with a solution that gives a pleasant feeling of a small victory.

Mysteries are skillfully intertwined with the narrative, making Call of the Sea absolutely fatigue-free. While exploring the island, you are not only looking for a way to overcome another obstacle, but also little by little learn the fate of the lost expedition. Scattered everywhere are notes, abandoned equipment, empty camps – the environment itself tells about the events that happened. The brain is distracted from puzzles by collecting a plot mosaic according to the found pieces. The whole picture is formed by the final. The story turns out to be simple, but exciting and meaningful.

In the days of Myst, such things had to be drawn on paper myself.

In the days of Myst, I had to draw such things myself on paper.

Let the game actively use the images popularized by Lovecraft – ancient immortal deities, fish-like creatures, purple as the main color of the otherworldly, – the essence of Call of the Sea is exactly the opposite. Nora, as the authors promised, does not at all fall into the abyss of madness. On the contrary, by the end of the adventure, she realizes her place in the world. Although the game has a place for both the theme of violence and dark episodes, it never steps into the territory of horror films.

* * *

Call of the Sea does not at all look like the debut of a young studio – yes, this is the first game in the team’s portfolio, but the developers have a rich experience behind them. The adventure is built with an excellent sense of pace, does not sag and does not have time to get bored in six hours. I’m looking forward to the next project Out of the Blue Games. It seems these guys are capable of making a significant contribution to the classic quest renaissance.

Advantages:

  • beautiful landscapes of a tropical island;
  • verified balance of difficulty in puzzles;
  • a convenient journal where all found tips are added;
  • a simple but cohesive story that holds the intrigue until the very end.

Disadvantages:

  • the heroine could run a little faster;
  • to some, the approach to puzzle design may seem archaic.

Graphic arts

The picture enchants with beautiful landscapes and vivid style.

Sound

The soundtrack mostly fades into the background, giving way to tropical discord: birdsong, the sound of waterfalls, the murmur of water, the riot of thunderstorms. The acting work can only be praised.

Single player game

A modern take on classic quests.

Collective game

Not provided.

General impression

An adventure on a tropical island with elements of mysticism and fantasy is exactly what is lacking in a period of self-isolation and closed borders.

Rating: 9.0 / 10

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