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72

Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: One of TIMEs top five games of 2016, Burly Men at Sea is a folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.

    Set in the waters of early 20th-century Scandinavia, the game's story branches through a series of encounters with creatures from
    One of TIMEs top five games of 2016, Burly Men at Sea is a folktale about a trio of large, bearded fishermen who step away from the ordinary to seek adventure.

    Set in the waters of early 20th-century Scandinavia, the game's story branches through a series of encounters with creatures from folklore. You play as storyteller and wayfinder, shaping the narrative around three ungainly heroes. Play through once for a single tale, then set sail again to uncover paths to new adventures.

    Named Best Story Game of 2016 by Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and nominee for Best 2D Visuals (Unity Awards 2016), SXSW Gamers Voice Award (2016), and Best Adventure Game/RPG (Intel Level Up 2016).
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 12, 2018
    95
    Burly Men at Sea is a lesson in simple elegance and whimsical storytelling. Almost more of an experience than a game, it's intended to be enjoyed, soaked in, rather than beaten. This short yet fantastic tittle is a fantastic addition to the Switch lineup, and a must-play for everyone's inner child.
  2. Apr 23, 2018
    90
    I feel like I’m misleading readers by using the word game or play because really, this is closer to a visual novel or a comic book in motion. I created bonds with those on the screen, I laughed, I gasped in shock and I missed the sense of the game when I wasn’t within the world. Burly Men at Sea is very much a folktale exploration of the world and relationships that surround us.
  3. May 11, 2018
    80
    Burly Men at Sea is a charming little adventure that gamers of any age will enjoy. The limited interactivity may put off some people, but this is an adventure full of whimsy and humour that I can fully recommend.
  4. Apr 17, 2018
    70
    While it might not offer that much in terms of player agency, Burly Men at Sea more than makes up for it with buckets of charm, wit and affable Scandinavian storytelling. Its playtime sessions are usually short, but with each playthrough recorded like a tome on your virtual shelf, there’s plenty of new characters and encounters to be discovered as you plot many a memory on your very own map.
  5. Jul 19, 2018
    65
    Burly Men at Sea is a title with a minimalist design in which you choose your actions as they trigger small tales based on Scandinavian folklore starring three bearded brothers.
  6. Apr 4, 2018
    60
    Burly Men at Sea is a very quaint and surprisingly enjoyable twist on the point-and-click genre, with lovely visuals, an impressive-and-quirky soundtrack, and more replayability than first thought. However, saying that, the whole experience can be breezed through in an hour or two, and it lacks enough real meat to be it a truly satisfying dish, especially given this is the highest priced version on the market right now.
  7. 60
    The game seems to be going for a the journey is the reward theme, but watching the same two endings again and again quickly grows tedious and diminishes what came before it. Finding an untrodden path isn’t exciting anymore when you know exactly where it leads. The story, however charmingly presented, lost its grip on me once I became aware each new situation I found myself in would have no payoff.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 2
  2. Negative: 1 out of 2
  1. Nov 12, 2018
    7
    The game was an interesting creation. Cute and warm, charming feeling to it. I agree with the people that say its more of a short story than aThe game was an interesting creation. Cute and warm, charming feeling to it. I agree with the people that say its more of a short story than a game. As such, its a treat! Expand
  2. Aug 3, 2018
    3
    Burly Men at Sea is a point-and-click choose-your-own-adventure game. It has gorgeous, stylish graphics that I wouldn't mind hanging to myBurly Men at Sea is a point-and-click choose-your-own-adventure game. It has gorgeous, stylish graphics that I wouldn't mind hanging to my sitting room walls, a nice core idea, and beautifully quirky sound effects. That's where the good of it ends.

    Burly Men is just barely interactive enough to call itself a "game". In some sequences, you're left wondering whether your commands are having any effect on the game at all. This lack of interactivity wouldn't be so damning if Burly Men worked as a piece of fiction–but for me, it doesn't. The humour falls flat more often than not, and the branching story is just a series of disjointed encounters without a narrative arc. Worse of all, the text that accompanies the beautiful images is overwritten and dense with adverbs.

    All of those shortcomings would make for a mediocre game. What convinced me to give it a very low score, however, are the terrible controls on the Switch. In some scenes, the game just won't do what it's asked for. Combined with the limited interactivity, that makes for a very frustrating experience. There was one sequence in particular (the "green landmass" scene) where even after knowing what to do, I just couldn't make it work with the touch screen, which is supposed to be the main mode of interaction with the game. The half-baked controls give me the suspicion that this game was converted in a hurry to jump on the Switch bandwagon, and the authors didn't even care to play through the conversion to test it with the different modes of control. For a game that costs much more on the Switch than it does on other platforms, that's a lack of respect for your buyers.
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