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Men at Sea

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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Burly Men at Sea (2016) is an adventure where you play three seafaring brothers who explore the Scandinavian seas. It's novel because it requires multiple playthroughs to discover the full narrative. It has a unique cyclical gameplay loop that remembers your previous runs as stories you can look back on that slowly unveil the secrets of the world.

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.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Burly Men at Sea 3 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 12 months ago.
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Play StylePlay Style

This is a Narrative and Puzzle game with Adventure elements. This is a single-player game.


Play Time: It takes between 20 minutes and 40 minutes to play a round of this game. The game has unique gameplay that allows you to "complete" the story in one sitting of about half an hour, then come back time and time again and have a different adventure, providing plenty of replayability and several hours of overall play time.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 3 for Very Mild Violence. Noteworthy occurrences are a maelstrom (accompanied by menacing music), an attack by a giant jellyfish and a scene where a ship is eaten by a giant whale.


Burly Men at Sea usually costs £7.19.

Burly Men at Sea

Steam Store PC £7.19
Steam Store Mac £7.19
Switch Store Switch -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 29/09/2016, updated in 2018

Out Now: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and iOS

Players: 1

Genres: Narrative, Puzzle and Adventure

Accessibility: 21 features

Components: 2D Side-On and Hand-Made

Developer: Brain and Brain (@BrainAndBrain)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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