Games this Week... Call of the Sea

I recently had surgery (gallbladder removal), so I’ve been stuck sitting on the couch for the last week and a half, filling my time with an assortment of naps, easy video games, and The Great British Baking Show. I plan to do a wrap up of the various games I’ve been playing during this time, but I wanted to spend a moment to write up a post about one game in particular that I played through yesterday: Call of the Sea

The first title for new game company Out of the Blue Games, Call of the Sea is a puzzle-based mystery game, where you play as Norah, who is searching for her missing husband after he left home to find a cure for her family’s strange illness. You follow him to a mysterious island in the South Pacific, discovering a trail of photographs, letters, and hastily dug graves that lead to various abandoned camps, ruins, and artifacts, which slowly unravels the mystery of his disappearance and the secret of this strange island.

Set in the 1930s, it has a lot of pulp adventure flair, which is right up my alley. Add a scavenger-hunt style mystery, intricate puzzles, mystical ruins, a mysterious family history, and archeological discoveries, and you might as well have picked this game directly out of my brain. It’s uncanny, really. And it is a truly beautiful game. The scenery and art design are absolutely stunning.

If you have an interest in this kind of game, I highly recommend picking it up on your platform of choice. It runs $20, or if you have an Xbox Game Pass, you can play it through that, which is what I did. I would also recommend not reading anything else about the game, and just go play it. I think it’s the kind of game that is more enjoyable the less you know about it.

You can find the game's official website here:

Thar be spoilers below!

If you want to preserve the mystery of the game for your own playthrough, stop reading this post and go play it already. It took me about five or six hours to play through the whole thing, I think. I didn’t time myself or anything, but there are six chapters to the game, and each one took me at least 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Some levels are more difficult than others.

There’s no combat, just exploration and puzzles, and there’s no danger of dying, so it’s a relatively easy playthrough, though not necessarily relaxing! Some of the puzzles are exceedingly difficult and take finding very obscure clues and connections to solve, but it’s very satisfying when you do finally solve them.

Also, you can go back and replay chapters at any time to 100% the game, if you wish.

If you have no care of spoilers, read on.

Yar! Spoilers ahead!

Now, I knew very little about the game when I started it. I was just looking for something to do, and stumbled upon it while browsing through Xbox Game Pass. I did a quick Google to check its average rating (9/10!) and then quickly dove in, since the premise sounded intriguing.

The game begins with Norah, our chronically ill but determined heroine, in the middle of a strange dream that begins with her underwater, a nightmare that she’s had before. When the dream ends, we find that she is on a ship, sailing toward a mysterious island to find her husband after receiving a package from Tahiti filled with an assortment of clues pointing her toward this island. Roughly a year prior, her husband left home to find a cure for her illness, and she hasn’t heard from him for a while.

Once on the island, she explores a little, discovering an assortment of clues that eventually lead her to an abandoned camp, proving that her husband, Harry, had been there. Going through letters, photographs, and even tape recordings, you’re able to slowly piece together an incomplete picture of what happened to the expedition, all pointing toward a towering ruin that is architecturally unlike anything you would ordinarily find in the South Pacific. After solving a difficult puzzle with multiple parts, you are able to get to the top of the ruins, where you find one of the expedition members detonated explosives, blowing the whole thing open.

Inside the ruins, you find a strange sort of well, the walls decorated with large stone eyes, dripping black ooze. When Norah interacts with the ooze, she hears strange whispers and sees horrific flashes of tortured faces, the first true evidence of something mystical at work. Upon activating the well, Norah is consumed by the black ooze, and after what seems like another dream, she ends up on the beach, where the expedition’s ship was tossed ashore after being ripped asunder by some sort of sea creature.

This is where the mystery of the island itself begins, which slowly unfolds over the course of the game with each subsequent level. As Norah follows her husband’s trail, she is also slowly uncovering the history and nature of the island and its prior inhabitants, amphibious humanoids who seemed to have enslaved humans and subjected them to a terrible transformation that left some dead and turned others into amphibians like themselves, all in the service of some dark god. You get most of this information primarily through murals painted across the island and visions Norah gains through interacting with the black ooze. It’s an incomplete history, but it’s utterly fascinating the way you slowly uncover piece by piece, following Harry’s trail through the island until the end.

I don’t want to spoil too much, because really, the story is well worth the playthrough of the game, but eventually, Norah delves to the very heart of the island, discovering her direct connection to it, which leads her to a final choice: to accept her fate and stay on the island, or reject it, and return home, knowing her illness will claim her life.

As the player, you get to make that decision, deciding the ending. Because I was curious, I copied my save and chose both endings to see what happened. Each ending has Norah make one last journey before the credits roll—one, to the beach, where she’s picked up by the ship that dropped her off; and the other, deeper into the island and the realm of its dark god. The credits and the post-credits scene play only slightly different depending on which one you choose, so truly, you can just pick whichever you personally prefer without fear of missing out on a better ending.

Final Thoughts

I have to say, I truly enjoyed Call of the Sea. It ticked all of the boxes for me, across genre, gameplay, and story, and was just the kind of game I was looking for in the moment. It’s well worth the $20 price tag. I greatly look forward to seeing what else Out of the Blue Games puts out in the future, because this one was a real winner.

Learn more about Out of the Blue Games on their website: 

Learn about the publisher Raw Fury at their website: