30 Reviews in 30 Days, Day 4 – The Sea Will Claim Everything
Point and click adventure games are not for everyone. They harken back to an older style of gaming, and even though many of them have brought different improvements to the genre, they are still not going to appeal to many modern gamers. In order to set the game apart, developers need to think of ways to distinguish themselves from the crowd. There is no question indie developerÂ Jonas Kyratzes has done this with his recent game The Sea Will Claim Everything. The question is whether the game still succeeds as a point and click adventure or gets lost in the attempt to be unique?
The Land of Dreams has become a nightmare
Underhome, the living cave The and his friends call home, has been repossessed. No, I did not miss something in that sentence. The first character you meet in The Sea Will Claim Everything is named The, and that should be your first clue this is not going to be your average game (Yes, there is a story behind his name, but I will not ruin that for you). You have been called upon to do everything you can to calm Underhome down and get to the bottom of what is happening. As you search for remedies, you will find that trouble abounds everywhere in the Land of Dreams, and you are the one person uniquely qualified to save its citizens, made up of many of the characters of dreams and legends, including a dragon and a former pirate octopus who now mans the local lighthouse.
The story behind this game is at once whimsical and thought provoking. At various points, you will find yourself laughing at the humor very reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, including all the crazy descriptions you get by clicking on the various items you can see through your viewing interface. My personal favorite was the description “This spoon is tired of people saying ‘there is no spoon.’ There is a spoon, so deal with it.” At other points, you will find Kyratzes has done an excellent job of weaving social and political commentary into the game without the usual bashing of any particular side. This light but impressive touch really shines through in the ending, which was not at all what I was expecting.
One other thing really helps the story stand out in this game. Instead of using cutting edge graphics, the world of the Land of Dreams is depicted in a storybook manner. This both helps add to the fantastical nature of the quest which you are undertaking and yet manages to oddly humanize the creatures with which you will be interacting throughout your time with the game. The graphics and storytelling have a truly charming character about them, a character which unfortunately is only shared in part by the gameplay.
Innovation and Frustration
You interact with the Land of Dreams via a viewing portal, which gives you access to movement arrows, inventory, a scroll for keeping track of quests and a map which will allow you to instantly travel to other major locals in the game once you have discovered them or been guided to them by another character. This portal also has switches on the side which allow you to turn off the viewing screen and/or the music, which allows Kyratzes to break the fourth wall during a couple of points in the game. Most of the navigation is pretty straight forward, with the occasionally disorienting twist in vantage point that can be a little too common in games like this.
While the main controls do offer some innovations, you will find yourself being frustrated a few different times while playing this game. Sometimes items you are looking for to complete specific quests will be right in front of you on the viewing portal, but they will blend in with the storybook graphics. One quest had me going back to the same area at least 10 times before I finally happened to click on the item which was sitting right in front of my face because it looked just like much of the rubble in the area. This will frustrate even the most ardent adventure gamer.
This is not the only frustrating part of the game. Many of the items needed to complete certain quests are obtained through the use of alchemy. The problem is the items you are trying to combine in the machines are not labeled, so you must memorize what they look like in order to make sure you choose the correct ingredients. You also have to combine them in the specific order called for in the recipe; just having the proper items is not enough.
Overlooking the flaws
The Sea Will Claim EverythingÂ definitely has its issues. When it comes down to it, however, these annoyances are pretty minor when compared to the brilliant humor, fantastic artwork andÂ ingeniousÂ storytelling. Add to this the music, which helps set the perfect tone in each area you come across throughout the game, and Kyratzes has created an experience no fan of point and click adventures should miss.Â The Sea Will Claim EverythingÂ gets an 8 out of 10.