A weird tale of otherworldly mystery. Call of the Sea is a first-person adventure puzzle game set in the 1930s that tells the story of Norah, a woman on the trail of her missing husband's expedition. The search takes place on a strange but beautiful island in the South Pacific, filled with secrets waiting to be unearthed. It is an otherworldly tale of mystery, adventure, and self-discovery.
Developer Out of the Blue’s debut game is a gorgeous homage to the films and games that inspired it. Through engaging Myst-style puzzles and a captivating story, Call of the Sea triumphs in bringing its island alive, along with the characters that have explored it. It delivers a short-lived but engrossing experience through stunning art direction and an excellent voice cast, with the biggest of its minor annoyances being a slow movement speed. If a fun, but emotionally affecting adventure is what you’re searching for then Call of the Sea most definitely answers that call.
TheSixthAxis (9/10): Call of the Sea's original setting, narrative, and overall feel totally hooked me – even when I wasn’t playing I found myself working over the puzzles in my head. If you’re a fan of emotional stories and challenging logical puzzles then you should dive straight into this adventure.
Screen Rant (4.5/5): Call Of The Sea is a real surprise. A perfectly-paced puzzle adventure that manages to pour more than the expected amount of heart into its story, it manages to combine a number of disparate elements into a hugely enjoyable game, and certainly not one to be missed.
Entertainment Focus (4.5/5): Call of the Sea is a brilliant game and a mighty impressive debut for Out of the Blue. It really shines on Xbox Series X and the extra power of the console is put to good use. Anyone who enjoys a good narrative adventure and solving puzzles should make sure they check it out. It’s also worth noting that the title is available on Xbox Game Pass so if you subscribe then you’ve really got no excuse not to give it a go. Highly recommended.
Eurogamer Italy (8/10, review in Italian): Call of the Sea continues the tradition that sees the indie industry as a tireless forge of often unmissable gems and does so by moving beyond pure genres and also playing on contrasts. That contrast that perhaps pushes Norah to find comfort in an unknown so unfathomable and surreal as to be frighteningly fascinating.
Noisy Pixel (8/10): Call of the Sea is a puzzle adventure that should be played by all fans of the genre. Its writing and environments are strikingly immersive as the player and Norah find themselves traveling deeper down this rabbit hole of mystery. There are moments of confusion in its design, but all the tools are present to explore this beautifully charming adventure; my only wish is that it was longer.
GameSpew (8/10): If you’re not a huge fan of puzzles, then you might find Call of the Sea‘s gameplay more frustrating than satisfying. But if you enjoy solving logic problems, there’s a lot to love here. The game looks beautiful, and the island you find yourself on, complete with all of its mysteries, begs to be explored. Its few bugs aside, Call of the Sea is a satisfying adventure that will keep you gripped from start to finish.
Xbox Achievements (8/10): Fantastically compelling for its duration, Call of the Sea is an immensely enjoyable puzzle game that manages to expertly combine engaging brainteasers with narrative, linear exploration, a sense of wonder, and Lovecraftian surrealism, in what is essentially a story about the lengths some will go to for love and companionship. As a developer, Out of the Blue Games' slogan is: “We design puzzles. We tell stories. We love games.” Call of the Sea serves as proof of that concept, delivering on all counts. Though; if you do happen to heed the call of the sea, maybe leave the chocolate biscuits behind.
TheXboxHub (4/5): Who said that single player games were dead? Call of the Sea on Xbox was made for Game Pass: a fantastic story stunningly told, full of well-pitched puzzles, with almost zero replayability. It’s one of 2020’s most surprising genre-reboots, taking Myst and transplanting in a heart, and we’re all for it. You’d do well to buy a ticket to its shores.
SomosXbox (7.8/10, review in Spanish): Call of The Sea brings us a classic lovecraftian adventure: puzzles, a mystery that must be unveiled and realities abeyond ours. Despite not bringing anything new, it's pretty fresh enjoying a non-horror take on Lovecraft novels. You won't be disappointed.
Vandal (7.5/10, review in Spanish): Call of the Sea has left a good taste in our mouths, a modest adventure of puzzles and narrative that poses some good puzzles and a very simple and unoriginal story, but that never takes on too much prominence and is followed with pleasure, achieving a good balance between all its parts. If you like riddles in their proper measure, without needing to leave you mentally exhausted, surely you are going to enjoy it.
IGN Spain (7.5/10, review in Spanish): Puzzles with a great design (mostly) and a story that captures without remedy from the first minute. A must for lovers of narrative adventures and puzzles.
Areajugones (7.2/10, review in Spanish): Call of the Sea could be considered as a narrative puzzle game where the second element is much more relevant than the firs one; although both depend on each other to exist. With a series of puzzles that will take the player into a smooth back and forth between the frustrating process of looking for a solution to the problem and the satisfaction of finding it, Call of the Sea offers a proposal that follows the basic rules of the genre and It is topped off with beautiful art design and a plot that delivers what it promises.
IGN Italy (7/10, review in Italian): Call Of The Sea is a good debut, that uses puzzle and riddle-based gameplay to tell an atmospheric story. Its weakness lies in a conception of riddles that is not always very clear, source of some moments of frustration, and in a limited duration. It will probably not remain among the most notable examples of the genre, but we must give credit to the fact that it manages to offer an alternative vision of the Lovecraftian narrative universe, potentially capable of satisfying those who do not always want monsters or scares.
GameWatcher (7/10): Call of the Sea feels like a mix between a puzzle game and a 1930s pulp novel. It blends these varied genres to mixed success; the puzzles are largely solid but you can find yourself banging your head against the wall in frustration for some, and the writing can be a bit campy but is carried by brilliant voice acting. While the game is decent, the visuals, the acting, and the setting are top notch. If entered with the right mindset, The Call of the Sea can be a good companion for an evening in.
XboxEra (7/10): If you want to investigate a mystery by exploring a beautiful location and solving puzzles whilst also learning about Polynesian culture this is a good place to do just that. I have played numerous games of this type over the years and this is another that I really enjoyed. I certainly felt a sense of achievement at the game’s conclusion.
With sumptuous visuals, a gorgeous soundtrack and some very clever puzzles, you’d be wise to check this game out on Game Pass or via Steam.
DualShockers (6.5/10): I think Call of the Sea is a fine start for Out of the Blue. It clearly has some places where it could have been tuned up, but overall a recommendation would have to come with a few caveats. However, because of its place as an Xbox exclusive that can be found on Game Pass, it’s easy enough to give it a try.
Last edited by Monkey Man on Tue Dec 08, 2020 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yeah it's a nice little game. Don't think it's going to last that long, and as it's my first walking simulator, I probably wouldn't have tried it without Gamepass, but it's going to be a gentle diversion, playing a couple of chapters for the rest of the week.
Visually looks quite pleasing, and the puzzles have so far towed the line between not being an absolute walkover, not leaving your stumbled or going for trial and error, but so carrying a sense of accomplishment.
The story is intriguing too, and I'm interested to see where it goes. All in all, another good thing to have come out of Gamepass for the past month or so I've had it.
I'm wondering if this is worth starting and finishing within a few days, if so I may put it on back burner till I'm off for xmas so I can play it for the 5 or so hours (it apparently lasts) over a couple of sessions.
I'm getting major Firewatch Vibes off this, not least because Cissy Jones voices the protagonist in this and the only other major character in Firewatch (which I LOVED).
Yeah, it doesn't feel as smooth as you'd think it would be on Series X. Feels a bit too heavy handed with the motion blur when you move around, and I wish there was an option to adjust the field of view.
Still, as a new gamepass game, it's alright. I'm stumbed by what I'm meant to be doing with the tikis in chapter 2, though.
I decided to jump in last night and finish chapter 1. I can't say I noticed any performance issues at all (I'm on Series X). The movement is a little slow but you can at least increase the speed of the right stick which made it nicer to look about with. It's GORGEOUS as you'd expect.
Just tried to load it and there's a BIG update (5.78gb?!) Looking at the patch notes it sounds like it adds a brightness setting (just after I'd done the awful dark chapter 3..!) and "fixed motion blur setting". But there wasn't a motion blur option anyway
I'm missing a single journal entry on Chapter 3, too. It's the one that appears in the journal at the top of the page where she mentions the doctor going crazy. Has anyone got that to try and point me in the right direction?
The Raw Fury easter egg in chapter 2 is a bit cringe, too
Frank wrote:I'm missing a single journal entry on Chapter 3, too. It's the one that appears in the journal at the top of the page where she mentions the doctor going crazy. Has anyone got that to try and point me in the right direction?
Are you still looking for this? If so, what’s the wording on the entry after the one you’re missing?
Hard to give a hint rather than a giveaway, because I’m not entirely sure, but I think it came from looking at one of the photos. Can’t remember the exact location, but it could be: In one of the tents, there are some easy-to-miss photos hanging up on an overhead line. Think it’s meant to be a darkroom.
The text of the entry is: Doctor De Witt’s mind was getting worse, and he tried to stab Frank. (Don’t take that personally haha.)
rinks wrote:Oh, just to check - you’re looking at the back of everything too, right? I think it was a note written on the back.
I check the backs of things when I remember Luckily I didn't miss much. Went back just to pick up the last few journal entries I'd missed. Somehow I didn't notice everything at the bottom of the stairs to the temple in Chapter 6
Frank wrote:It's really good, yeah. I got proper stumped on one bit in Chapter... 4. You'll know the bit when you get to it
(quoted from Game Pass thread)
I’ve just completed chapter 4, and yes, I think I know (the dials to combine words). I tried a few things but was getting nowhere, so decided to leave it for a bit. Then, when I was doing something else, suddenly a solution came to me, so I rushed back to the Xbox to try it out, convinced it would work. I adore it when games do that to me. It’s a sign of really smart design when you can think through stuff when you’re not even playing it.
Only problem: my idea didn’t work. But I was sure I was on the right lines, and re-checked what I had done. In desperation, I tried rotating each dial through 360 degrees and sure enough that fixed it, but I reckon the puzzle is set incorrectly. If the way I solved it was right.
I finished yesterday too. Loved it all. I thought Chapter 5 was a bit weaker than the rest, but 6 more than made up for it, puzzle-wise.
Just going through and looking for the few journal entries and secret items that I missed. I’ve glanced at some of the hidden achievements, and I’ll have to go back again and use a guide, because some of them are just stupid. Things you would have no reason to do during the game, and because they’re secret you don’t even get the title as a hint. I don’t see the point of achievements like that, and I’ll only be doing them to tidy up the loose ends.