Adventure runs wild.
Call of the Sea brings a fresh new take on puzzle solving with a homage to old school Lovecraftian storytelling that brings a lot of replay value.
Call of the Sea wasn’t really on my must-play list when it first came out, but after playing a few hours it is quickly turning into one of my favorite games this year. Played from a first-person perspective, Call of the Sea brings you into the shoes of Norah, who has set out to a remote island in the Southern Pacific in search of her husband Harry who has been declared missing. The premise seems like you’re in for some type of Tomb Raider-esque adventure, but Call of the Sea features different puzzles that you need to solve as you progress through the story.
As Norah, you dive inside the lush jungles in search of your husband, carefully observing different locations along with a smart wit to solve puzzles. It may be the opposite of a gun-wielding Lara Croft, but I am happy to say I have enjoyed every minute of it.
Norah ended up being a likable character, and you connect with her more as you learn more about her story as she narrates it during the game. You’ll get the chance to examine objects and write down clues as well as solving puzzles that range from simple to rather complex. You won’t get frustrated though, as the puzzles are designed to be challenging rather than frustrating.
These clues and puzzles will eventually reveal how Norah’s husband got lost – and goes on a rather dark tone in terms of narrative. Still, it’s captivating enough for me to continue playing as you get more immersed in the story and Norah’s quest to find her love. As far as isolated islands go, Call of the Sea also adds a scare factor that appears subtly in the game. It’s this sense of creepiness that adds another layer of experience to the gameplay.
It’s a fairly short game, and I managed to finish Call of the Sea in one weekend as I breezed through different chapters. Call of the Sea does feature some replay value, which you can revisit as you fill more secret objects that you put in Norah’s journal which in turn can get you achievements for completion.
The game is also gorgeous to look at – running at a juicy 4K 60 fps on the Xbox Series X. The increased resolution also helps in letting you find things for your puzzles and presents a different visual treat for every chapter that ranges from sandy beaches to lush green forests.
The short duration of the Call of the Sea maybe its only downside, but since it comes as part of the games that come with an Xbox Game Pass subscription (it’s also available for PC), it’s an easy recommendation especially if you have the newer Xbox Series X/S.
+ Engaging story
+ Challenging puzzles
+ Incredible graphics
– Game could have been longer
Final Rating: 4.5/5