The last thing 2020 needs is the arrival of ancient gods engulfing our suffering Earth. But Call of the Sea doesn’t tell a playful story full of monsters, nor does it plan to scare you. Her conception of Lovecraft’s horror is surprisingly cheerful and joyful, as it is not about falling into depression, delusions and gradual insanity, but about the exact opposite.
Dive for adventure
The story raises a number of questions almost immediately when the protagonist Norah receives a key pack, an ancient-looking dagger, and a challenge to go tens of miles off the coast of Tahiti to places where, according to maps, there is nothing at all. After a few days of research, she learns from the locals that the “map” takes her to a mysterious island, which everyone avoids like the devil crosses.
That is, except for her husband Harry, who has just gone to these places and is considered lost. The 1930s are currently underway, so satellite phones are not exactly the standard equipment of researchers. You land on your own on a picturesque, exotic beach, where you immediately meet the remnants of Polynesian culture.
You have a natural fear of an unknown environment full of bizarre buildings and statues, as well as the worst – you constantly think that your husband is dead. How else to explain the first abandoned camp, where there are still leftovers? Along with the uneaten fruit, there are also several sheets of paper with notes of individual members of the expedition about the ongoing expedition.
In the footsteps of a mystery
It is these clippings that tell the story. It’s a little weird to imagine why members of the expedition wrote letters instead of conversing normally… But for the sake of gameplay, let it be, because you won’t want to miss a single sheet of paper. The individual texts perfectly complete the atmosphere and increase your awareness of the woes of the expedition that left one camp after another on the island.
In addition, the researchers were relatively considerate and returned all the puzzles to their original state. Each chapter of the Call of the Sea is covered by one big mystery, which in most cases will make you explore the surroundings and look for clues that you will record in your diaries. From them, you will eventually decipher the key to moving the stunning systems that no human could have built at the time.
When solving these puzzles, you will feel like a real Indiana Jones. The game does not lead you by the hand and does not bother you that you might get stuck. There are no hints, you have to look everything out from the environment around and put two and two together. And that helps the exploratory focus of the game in a great way.
Self-talk doesn’t have to be crazy
In addition, the creators from Out of the Blue did a great job with the main heroine Nora herself, who comments in a completely natural way on every letter, every photo and every object you take in your hand. It is also helped by the fact that her dubbing is taken care of by the excellent Cissy Jones, who has written into our hearts as Delilah from the adventure Firewatch, while the dubbing of Harry’s letter replicas is also taken care of by the great Yuri Lowenthal known as the Prince of Persia and Peter Parker.
After all, if we were to compare Call of the Sea to some other game, we would say that it is such a mix of Firewatch storytelling style and exploration of the island from The Witness. And these are great business cards. In addition, Call of the Sea has a really great story full of emotions, both really sad and absolutely happy.
In fact, you will be divided between the two and it will be a real problem for you to choose which of the emotions you will eventually succumb to. The story is exactly the reason why you should stay with the game until the end, without even encountering dead spots during the game.
In addition to the narration, you will be kept in the chair by a hilarious soundtrack, pleasant puzzles and beautiful graphic design, thanks to which you will be amazed at each new location of the mysterious island, whether it is an initial exotic beach, electrifying storms, or later, much stranger the fact that many cultures of different (ancient) ages alternated on the island.
Unfortunately, due to the spoilers, we can’t go into more detail, so all you have to do is believe that the plot and the style of its narration will captivate, surprise and excite you in breathtaking scenery. We can only reveal that Norah is going through the opposite development to what we are used to with the heroes of the adaptations of Lovecraft’s horror. The local place and its events do not have a negative impact on it, but a completely positive one. You will not be afraid, you will enjoy discovering the incredible with her.
Call of the Sea is an excellent adventure game with clever puzzles, from which most of all you will get an amazing experience from telling an engaging, emotional story. This is not another ordinary horror movie with tentacle monsters, but a completely differently cut, positive-wave story that you might want to experience one day.