Burly Men At Sea was one of PlayStation’s PS Plus offerings in November and right from my first look at its minimal vector design, I knew I’d likely enjoy this game. The game, from studio Brain&Brain, was released in September 2016 and has been nominated for, and won, a number of awards – and it’s not hard to see why.
The game has you control three burly, bearded fishermen who are intrigued by a map they find in a bottle. In a bid to find out what the map is for, the fisherman embark on an adventure that will bring them up close and personal with creatures of the sea, and beings from Scandinavian folklore.
Burly Men At Sea‘s minimal design is sublime and it really adds that extra something to this game as a whole. Whether it’s the three beard fisherman, the creatures of the sea, or the expanding landscapes – the duo behind this game really understand how to make minimal work for the story they’re telling. Another aspect they kept minimal was the game’s sound effects, which are mostly a cappella voices.
The soundtrack (which, as it happens, I’m listening to as I type this) flows nicely with the game, being jolly and upbeat one minute and darker and slow the next. The music, as well as the sound effects, is just as important as the visuals for this game due to the lack of actual voiced dialogue. As we read the story that’s unfolding it’s the music in the background that helps set the tone of the unusual situation the three fishermen have find themselves in.
The story itself is quite short, but its charm lies in the number of different ways you can complete it. Depending on what action you take at certain parts of the story, you will be thrown into different scenarios that lead to other new scenarios. Whilst these scenarios do offer brief replay value, especially if you want that Platinum, the game’s slow-moving nature means it can feel repetitive quite quickly, but that may just be me.
Your first playthrough will take about 20-25 minutes, so if you’ve no interest in replaying then I’d advise waiting to pick this game up in the sale. But I wholeheartedly recommend you do play through this game at least once. Its cute, minimal design and matching soundtrack will offer you an enjoyable escape from the real world, if only for a short while.
Burley Men At Sea is available to play on PC, Mobile, and PlayStation.