Burly Men At Sea
Top Critic Average
It’s a gentle seafaring tale I’m looking forward to playing through with a child when I next see my smaller family members but which I’m more than happy to play for my own enjoyment as well. I think I’m on my sixth distinct playthrough at the moment and still discovering new things.
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.
With some lovely audio touches where sound effects are created by human voice, to the drifting, melodic soundtrack, the lovely block colour, simple visuals and a memorable, adorable set of storylines, Burly Men at Sea is a short, sweet adventure that I won't be forgetting in a hurry.
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.
Burly Man at Sea is a perfect adventure to spend a couple of hours in total relaxation, amazed by the crazy adventures of three sailors and discovering all the little details that the team hid in every corner of the game.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Filled with quirkiness, wonder, and exploration, Burly Men at Sea is certainly a niche game targeted more towards children and adults who want to be kids again. Not everyone will find it a pleasant journey, but I suspect more will be surprised by its charm than not — even if it does not last.
Burly Men at Sea is a beautifully realized dive into Scandinavian Folklore. The stories Brain&Brain tell are unique and interesting, but they get stale after a handful of playthroughs.
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.
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. In the end, it is undoubtedly a pleasant experience, but one that will be forgotten quite quickly upon completion, unless extremely motivated to spend more money on the digital or physical storybooks offered post-game via a web-link. It is definitely worth trying, but just be mindful of the price and check your expectations before diving in.
Burly Men at Sea will definitely charm you though. And although it can get repetitive if you try to get all the endings for the game, the stories are all well written and it's exciting to see what happens next.