Call of the Sea - Not the only fish in the ocean

Call of the Sea - Not the only fish in the ocean

A freshmen outing is a little light on puzzles but pulls its weight in the storytelling department.


Call of the Sea is a "Myst-lite" puzzle game as the debut title from Spanish studio Out of the Blue and published by Raw Fury, provided a few good hours of exploration and story but not excessively difficult puzzles if you've been through these type of games before. It is definitely a strong freshmen effort.

Set in the 1930s, you play as Norah, a woman with a strange skin afflection that is slowly killing her. Her husband Herny has gone on an expedition to a tropical island where it is rumored the cure for this condition can be found and that Norah has been having visions of, but he has since gone missing for some months, and Norah has decided to try to follow him. As a result, much of the story is Norah following on the trail of Herny's expedition on this island, learning of their discoveries and the discourse among its members as the journey became more difficult and dangerous. Norah also learns there is much more to her condition, tied to an ancient civilization that used to live on the island. From a story perspective, the game does a good balance of narrative explanation and "show, don't tell" through both Norah's commentary and the various logs, journals and murals you find throughout the environment to help you track the narrative and flesh out the characters that you don't get to witness in person while providing enough beats on puzzle clues.

The puzzles themselves are a bit of let down if you have played games like Myst. The game is divided into 6 chapters, and basically there is one or two main operative puzzles per chapter, though each puzzle may have a few working parts to get through. These parts typically require some type of sign or symbol interpretation of which part of the work has been done for you via the expedition's notes - you just need to find the right ones in the environment. Fortunately, once you find these, they are automatically added to a journal you can bring up at any time, so you don't have to worry about running around the map to relocate each one, but this also serves to somewhat highlight the solution that you should be aiming for since only the useful information gets added to the journal. Once you've understood the symbols and what instructions they tell you to do, then the puzzles are pretty much straight forward, lacking any type of second layer of difficult. At worst, for me, was missing a path off the map to explore to find the last parts needed to decipher the puzzle. To the game's credit, there was one mid-game puzzle that had enough different levels of working parts to feel complementary to a Myst puzzle, so it was getting there, but otherwise just a bit too easy.  I would say that these may be more suited for younger players like pre-teens, though the story itself is just a bit darker than I'd normally consider for this age group - not scary dark but thematically dark as the game draws on parts of Lovecraftian horror but very little of the horror aspects.

But still a strong first-time effort for such a game. The story, dealing effectively with two journeys of both Norah and her husband was done well and kept me going forward, and the game doesn't take too long to get through, about 3 to 4 hours. The environments were crafted with enough realism in mind while keeping to the theme of the game and helped with the visual character. I did have some technical glitches that may be on my end where parts of levels did not load immediately on moving into them until about 30 seconds later, but that only stalled progress a couple times.  It's definitely a game that shows promise for a sophomore title from this group if they can make their puzzles just a bit more refined and complex.

Review for
Call of the Sea

Good narrative story and means of developing it via scattered notes and journals

Well-envisioned and imaginative environments


Rather simple puzzles

Journal system which is helpful to avoid retracing steps also tends to guide too closely to puzzle solutions

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