I hadn’t heard of Call of the Sea, but seeing it on gamepass and reading it was an adventure story with puzzles made me definitely intrigued. I’ve recently discovered how much I enjoy interactive stories as games (such as Oxenfree and What Remains of Edith Finch) and have always loved puzzles.
The premise of the game is you are a young women, Norah, with a debilitating illness. Your husband has gone in search of a cure. He has gone missing and so you set out, alone, to his last known location. To an island that the locals believe to be cursed.
Norah provides a commentary as you walk around the island and interact with objects. Sometimes she gives clues to the puzzles you encounter, but mostly she is telling her life story and linking what happens on the island with the past. The story itself was intriguing and I wanted to discover what had happened and what was wrong with me (I felt that I became Norah whilst I was playing the game, even wincing when she had to deliberately do things that would hurt).
Each chapter had a different feel. This was enhanced by the weather conditions, atmospheric music, lighting and artwork. Chapter one is warm and sunny, with bright colours as you set out on the island. In later chapters you encounter night-time storms where the island is lit up with lightning and everything feels more ominous. You even have some parts where you swim underwater.
Some of the puzzles are hard, really hard. They often require you to get information from multiple places (handily stored in your journal) and link these parts together to get the solution. Some puzzles I stared at for ages before retracing my steps and realising I was missing part of the information. Solving the puzzles feels like a real sense of achievement.
The game reminded me slightly of playing The Witness. I think it was due to the stunning artwork, setting on an island that seems to currently be deserted, and puzzles that required observational clues. The underwater parts reminded me slightly of Subnautica, mainly due to the artwork and lighting.
If you enjoy puzzles and discovering the answer to a mystery give Call of the Sea a try and let me know what you thought of it…