Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Burly Men at Sea 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 10 weeks ago.
As the game starts you find an old bottle with a map of the sea in it. During each adventure you fill out different parts of the map with individual experiences that coalesce into a story not unlike that of a children's book. Here though, rather than turning pages for a linear story, you simply tap and drag the touch screen or direct characters with a controller. Your actions make each of your adventures differ in subtle and substantial ways.
The game's colourful, abstract aesthetic paired with sea-shanty music lend the it the feel of an old fairytale or myth, as do the creatures that populate the oceans, which are taken from Scandinavian folklore. This combines with the simple controls to make it accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
At the end of each playthrough, you add this story to the bookshelf, then set out on another. Each adventure has a similar baseline, but offers the chance to visit different places or interact with different elements of the world to create a brand new and unique narrative.
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