In Oceanhorn Monster of Uncharted Seas, I am the son of a famous and brave explorer. However, my father was taken by a creature known as Oceanhorn; a mechanical monstrosity that makes a terrible haunting sound whenever it emerges from the murky depths. It’s now my destiny to take up the sword and find out why the monster took my father. Anyone who stands in my way, be it a monster or man, will fall by my hand like a leaf on the wind.
Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is a cutesy and fun game about exploring islands, getting new gear, and discovering new places to explore. This game clearly carries its inspiration on its sleeve and makes me wonder why there aren’t more of these for PC. The hero starts out with a sharp pointy stick that eventually gets replaced with a sword and shield. Later he’ll get bombs and a bow. If this sounds familiar to a certain fellow in a green tunic, then read no further. (There is no Link to be found in this game). If not, then carry on reading.
Each island holds a clue to where another island is located. Each place has a lot of treasure hidden in clever places, such as behind walls that can be blown up with bombs. The journey between islands is on a sailing ship, complete with a trusty peanut shooter to fight enemies and clear debris; the latter contains money and ammo when destroyed. When I eventually found an island, there were usually some talkative natives and foul beasts about, which quite often led to a muddy dungeon. Dungeons are full of monsters, insidious traps, and terrible block puzzles which eventually lead to a boss room.
Combat is an easy and smooth affair since it’s based around using tools, blocking attacks, and running around a lot. When I died (which happens every now and then), I re-spawn at the dungeon entrance. If there is anything to complain about, then it has to be the tad wonky physics of movable objects. As the enemies keep dying and island-specific challenges get done, the hero gains experience that will give him more items and ammo capacity. These perks are lost upon death.
The water is bright blue, the clouds are white and one island is flying!? In other words, the art direction is beautiful, simple, and very vibrant, with exaggerated character designs and a cartoonish style. All this is complemented by a lovely soundtrack and fitting non-intrusive sound effects. Kudos for excluding an annoying beeping sound when the player is at death’s door. Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is clearly a game that most people will enjoy until they get stuck in a puzzle they can’t solve. I know this because it happened to me! The game is available on Steam, as well as for iOS.
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