Call of the Sea: A Classic Adventure

I picked this up at the Winter Steam sale and have just started it.

Norah Everhart is on an uncharted “island of death” alone, looking for her husband who disappeared in June of 1934 while on an expedition to find a cure for her unnamed disease.

Though the expedition was well supplied, she has only found small abandoned supplies and camps (so far).

In classic adventure style, she has a great journal which refreshes your story as you go.

She finds helpful notes left by someone. I liked this one so much, I put it in my own journal I always keep when playing such a game.

They might want to hire me for my drawing skillz on the next game…

My first real puzzle is this combination lock type totem. I haven’t solved it quite yet.

Simple controls:

WASD to move

Tab to open journal, up and down, left and right arrows to move around in the journal.

Move in close to get an EYE to look at items, or a Hand to interact.

Somehow I wasn’t paying attention when they said how to SPRINT. Oh well.

In true adventure game style, Call of the Sea maintains tension via the story itself, and the exploration of an unknown land where others have disappeared.

Upcoming Games

Reminder to self:  Some upcoming games that sound most interesting.

The Outer Worlds   October 25, 2019

System Shock 3

System Shock Remastered

Brassheart  2020

Syberia the World Before

Blacksad Under The Skin   November 5 2019

Throwback Thursday: The Greatest Adventures

Video games exist in their own universes, telling a story, inviting you into an adventure.  I wanted to list my favorites of all the in-game adventures we’ve had.  My husband and I played all but one of these and more together.  Typically he “drove” or moved us around, while I wielded guns and wrenches against an onslaught of bad guys and monsters.  I always take it personally when my character is attacked, so in addition to providing all the screams, my self-preservation instincts kicked in plenty and got us out of tight spots.   These games formed us both as gamers.

These are my personal favorites:


Tomb Raider

The adventure of any lifetime in rambling trap filled tombs.  Wild leaps to safety or death, enemies galore, and something I always love, endless ammo.



System Shock 2

We weren’t familiar with the first game, so we trusted The Good Doctor Polito, and were shocked indeed by Shodan.   I think we played more than once and tortured over the stats we should pick, making this unlike anything else we had played.  I loved hacking those doors, under considerable pressure as The Many crept up behind you.   The whispers of those creatures, heard in advance of their getting to where you were (insert screams here).   It was so scary I remember us trying to hide on a bunk bed once, holding our breath, hoping they wouldn’t notice us.


Alone in the Dark

Apparently we wanted to be scared more, scream more (truthfully it was always me) so we picked up this haunted house exploration story.  The graphics seem very blocky today, and I’d loved to see them modernize the game.  The story, the music, and a couple of sequences of things crashing through windows  were almost too much.   A mystery to be solved,  finding of clues and objects as you went.



One I played on my own.  I really could have used my husband in the Ayleid tombs, which just were too scary, again ambient noises being the thing.  I had to listen to cheery, upbeat music any time I went in one.  This was my introduction to the Elder Scrolls, I hadn’t played Morrowind or any others then.  I found the world to be rich and life like, just incredible.  I loved going in bandit lairs to loot their goodies.  I eventually had all the houses and they were filled with weapons and armor and alchemy ingredients.  Except for the initial shack, those places were beautiful.   I had favorite npcs to sell loot to.   I’d wander all over the countryside exploring and picking flowers.  I didn’t want to close all of the Oblivion Gates or finish the main storyline because it was such fun to loot those.  I had a crush on Martin so I wouldn’t finish the main story line and leave him to his fate.   I know many like Skyrim best, but Oblivion is still my favorite.  Another game that needs to be remastered for modern computers.


Star Wars Dark Forces

This we played together.  What a great game for being immersed in a Star Wars adventure.  We developed all kinds of strategies for creeping out quick to draw fire then pulling back and making the bad guys come to us.  That’s one thing about a single player game, you can save often and re-do a fight or move, learning as you go.   With this one, I recall we’d just go around the next corner to see what was there, let’s just look at the next level, then go to bed.  One a.m. blam! blam! blam!

Try It Tuesday An Unknown Tale From My Steam Library: Dear Esther

I’ve picked out four games from my Steam Library to finally play a bit.  I’ll play them–though not all the way through–just to get an idea of this game I purchased, and to try something new.

I’ve read lots of reviews of Dear Esther.  It sounded intriguing, good story, interesting gameplay.

Technical Issues

I tried it first on my gaming laptop.  No sound, not even ambient.

Not wanting to spoil the game for myself, as I hadn’t read about it in any detail… I also thought something must be wrong because I couldn’t find any keyboard key that let me interact with objects.  Why are you putting in books and pamphlets I can’t read for clues, I thought?

My brief perusal of a game review let me know there should be sound.  A narrator speaking!  I moved to playing on my main gaming pc and it was fine, sound, music, and the narrative voice.

It turns out there is no way to interact or jump or do anything to really explore the environment.  You have to go along the path set out for you, even though, early on here to be sure, there appear at times to be more than one path.

This led me to scrawl a note to myself:  Is exploration actually exploration when you can’t choose a path?  Or is visiting an all new place enough?

The diary entries pop up at intervals.  I’m not certain if these are meant to show you you’re going the right way, or if they just appear every so often to draw you along in the story.

 I took a path that I thought would get me to the intriguing working lighthouse with it’s blinking red light.  All it did was take me away from the lighthouse, so it seems.   There’s a small cave that has a circular path through it.

Speaking of Clues.  This has a Myst like feel to it for me, so I’m noting anything that might be a clue in my ever handy notebook old school style, as I did back in the heyday of Adventure games.   I drew out this formula which appears in a shack and again in a cave.  Must be a clue, right?  Is there a Island of Dr. Moreau aspect to all this?

There’s also a picture in the cave.  Random cave scrawling or does it have deep deep meaning?

 Coming out of the cave, I start heading up a new path towards the Lighthouse.  The narrator makes me think maybe I should turn around and try to get to the half sunken trawler behind me.   I had tried moving along the shoreline on the old lighthouse side of the river (?) but the screen went black and there were these drowning noises so I backed up.   Maybe things would be better on the side of the shoreline.

 Ha!  glug glug.  Black screen. Then bounced back to just outside the cave looking just in this direction.   Worse yet, I’m stuck.  Cannot move in any direction.   That is a thing that can happen in old adventure games.  You do what you shouldn’t, go where you shouldn’t. Stuck.

It appears that you have four chapters in the game and it only saves when you’ve finished one.  If I didn’t make it past their save point, no harm no foul, I haven’t gone far at all and can start again, much the wiser.  Stay out of the water!

Baldur’s Gate Enhanced on iPad

I’ve been playing a little Baldur’s Gate in the evenings on my iPad .  Thinking recently of the allure of single player RPGs, this seems like the perfect place to start.

Many games don’t translate well to the touchscreen, but older RPGs are generally a good fit with their point and click interface.  
So far combat is the only thing that doesn’t always respond to “clicks” in a timely way, which can mean death.  
I was lost on the road to the Friendly Arm Inn in an earlier play through and didn’t like my character build so I started over from scratch with an eleven Ranger.
She got stuck in a doorway last night and no online tip helped get her loose, so backing up to a previous save.
There are many adventures to be had by those who proceed slowly and save often.

Tiny Screen Adventures: The Longest Journey

Save after every conversation is my new motto.   Many aren’t long, but our girl April is…the B Word.

You traditionally try to talk to everyone in this type of game to get information about the game and the world.  I take the most polite options offered but she still manages to blast everyone she meets with some rudeness.
We appear to be on a future earth but it isn’t a sleek future.  Everything seems grungy.

Except for this park, of course.  
I’m hoping our April snaps out of her eternal witchiness and becomes likeable soon or she’s sailing over the next cliff she comes to. 

Tiny Screen Adventures: Syberia

I hoped I would be spending a short time at the train station in Barrockstadt, but I’m still working to find a way to get the train moving again.

Because it has a clockwork mechanism, it needs to be wound up again before the journey can continue.  I found a winding tool of sorts.

In order to get my immobile train up there I need to:
Open some locks so a tugboat can pull the train forward.
Fix a mechanical bandstand for three University regents who must have graduated from Three Stooges University.
Recover a mammoth doll from a paleontologist who creates wine as a side hobby.
It may not sound like much to do but the path to accomplishing anything is very long.

Tiny Screen Adventures: The Longest Journey

I have this for PC and I now recall I didn’t get very far in the game.  I had been thinking it was some technical glitch, but I can see now that I stopped dead after The Longest Most Awful Conversation in all my gaming history. The two women pictured below have an interminable dialog about the apt. building they live in and its residents and everyone’s love lives.  I thought I was gonna die.

I could not escape the conversation until every annoying tidbit had been discussed. JSM. 
Muttering terribly I made sure I saved the game once I was finally released.
As a side note, inventory items are combined by dragging one item on top of another.
I shall report back once I escape Slime Central.