I know that some people come here and simply don’t know what to make of The Sea Will Claim Everything. It looks interesting, but what is it like? What’s with the graphics? What’s with the lack of a proper feature list? Just… what is this?
“It’s a portal to the Lands of Dream” doesn’t sound like much of an answer, even though I’m pretty sure people who have played TSWCE will agree that it’s the most accurate one. So let me try to explain a little.
The first thing you should know is that the game is the way that it is because it is meant to. Take the visuals. We’re often told that the more realistic graphics are, the better. But even if they paid me to make this game in the Unreal engine, I’d refuse. Not because I hate 3D engines or anything, but because it would just be wrong. I’ve noticed that people who aren’t gamers often absolutely adore the graphics, simply because they come at them from a different perspective: they love the strong colours and the bold lines and the imagination and the fun. And you will too, I think, if you give them a chance.
I don’t know if the screenshots really capture the feel of the game, to be honest. It feels different when it’s not just a little image in your browser. The screenshots feel static, but the game feels alive – even though it’s drawn on paper.
The second thing you should know is that this game comes from the heart. Every little bit of it. It has flaws and quirks, like people do, but every single bit of it is the result of thought and attention and care. It matters to us like something entirely real, and I think that’s why you’ll find that so many reviewers write that they, too, cared about the Fortunate Isles.
The third thing you should know is that brushing your teeth is really important. I’ll go brush mine right now, in fact. Be right back.
The fourth thing you should know is that playing this game will be a journey you’ll remember. You’ll see strange places and people. You’ll have moments and experiences you’ll treasure. You’ll find something that will be special to you; it’s different for everyone and usually entirely personal, but the world of TSWCE is so large and so full that everyone finds something.
The fifth and final thing you should know is that this game isn’t a joke. It’s not “I’ll throw together a quick indie game and make some money”. It’s different in its aesthetics, but it’s not cheap. This is a huge game with hundreds of screens and enough words to fill a book; it’s got beautiful music and a real story and real ideas.
But what is it like? Well, in terms of games not set in the Lands of Dream… nothing, really. It’s not Myst, it’s not Quest for Glory, it’s not Monkey Island. But thankfully, all the other Lands of Dream games are free, so you could play some of them. I’d recommend The Fabulous Screech; it’s only fifteen minutes long at most, but it’s quite representative in a way. Just imagine that TSWCE is several hundred times larger, and non-linear, and much more complex, and… well, anyway.
I hate to use the language of marketing, but the truth is that The Sea Will Claim Everything is unique, and that in itself is a good reason to buy it. You don’t even need to be into adventure games to enjoy it, because it’s not a typical adventure game. You don’t even need to be into games! (Honestly.) Everyone is welcome, and everyone can find something of value in the Fortunate Isles.