Some games set out to break you. They are so challenging that you will soon find yourself crying, rocking back and forth in the corner. We’re looking at you here, Dark Souls. Oceanhorn: Monsters Of Uncharted Seas is not one of these games. Instead, Oceanhorn sets out to charm you, to dazzle you with its beauty and simplicity of ideas.
At its core Oceanhorn: Monsters Of Uncharted Seas is an adventure puzzle game. There are a number of islands for you to explore, each with its own distinct look and personality. The people on the island will engage you in what feels like different ways. Some will help you, others will hinder you and some will plainly ignore you.
With a title like Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas you would expect to spend a lot of time at sea, and this you do indeed do. Unfortunately this is one way that the game lets itself down. We would have hoped, with a title like this, we would have spent at least some time exploring said Uncharted Sea. This is not the case. You can only visit islands that you already know about, so you are reliant on people telling you about different islands before they appear on your map. When you are actually on your little boat going between islands you are stuck on rails and cannot deviate from your course one bit.
It’s only when you get to a new island that the exploration starts. Each island is littered with NPCs to help you on your way. There are also a whole host of puzzles for you to solve as you go exploring, and these puzzles open up new parts of each island. The puzzles themselves aren’t too challenging, and you won’t find yourself scratching your head for too long. The solution is generally in plain site. If it’s not then maybe you will have to come back to this island after finding something on a different one that will help you get past your current obstacle. This is where the game’s exploration system excels, and you will have to revisit most islands several times to be able to complete the quests.
Everyone loves a good mini game and Oceanhorn: Monsters Of Uncharted Seas has a cracker. Finding a fishing rod opens up the world of fishing to you and you can continue to fish throughout the game. There might only be seven different kinds of fish in the game but it is something of a challenge to find and catch them all.
Mild RPG elements allow for a levelling up system which is both simple and a lot of fun. You level up by killing enemies and completing side quests. Each island also has its own sets of side objectives, each with its own achievement, and each completed objective will give you bonus XP that allows you to level up faster and gain better rewards.
Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas won’t be winning any awards for its story but really this is only a side issue here. The story serves to kick off your adventure, and then it’s all about the exploring and adventuring.
One of the most endearing features of the game is its soundtrack. The music is alive to on-0screen events, soothing at times whilst increasing the tension at just the right moments. Couple this with fantastic camera work – you won’t find your view been obscured by a random tree here – and you have a thoroughly enjoyable cinematic cartoon experience.
For most people Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas will take around ten hours to finish and is fun for both kids and adults. It will charm and engage throughout, just as long as you’re not looking for too much depth or twisting narrative.
Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas is available from the Store, priced £11.99.
A thoroughly engaging adventure despite a misleading title and a thin story.
Oceanhorn: Monsters of Uncharted Seas is a good looking game for both children and adults. You won’t find too much of a challenge here but with beautiful visuals and soundtrack this could be a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon.