“Kay! Kay wake up! Kay your fans want you!” This is what the main character of Sea of Solitude would be hearing after the release if this were real life. In the game you follow Kay along a journey of remembrance, discovery, heartbreak, coping and so much more. Kay finds herself alone in a boat and unfortunately for her, turned into a monster. She must navigate her way through waters and an underwater city in order to find out why she has become this monster. Along the way she will need to face other monsters and find out how to deal with them in her own way.
First off Sea of Solitude is absolutely a joy to look at. From the wavy water to the amazing yet terrifying monsters Kay encounters everything is stunning. Kay uses her trusty boat in portions of the game and it was quite peaceful at times. When she isn’t roaming through the city or out in the high seas, Kay is on foot trying to navigate with the help of another girl. She can also use a flare that will guide her in the right direction if she ever gets lost. Kay will need basic puzzle solving skills but none are too difficult for her to handle. She can also discover hidden messages or find birds to get an aerial view of the place. These are more like collectibles but the messages do give you a little story to the situation. The game is broken down into chapters and each scenario within the chapter Kay has to face a certain memory. That is where she will need to dig deep within herself in order to move on. You will need to figure this out on your own as well.
While Sea of Solitude can be described as a walking puzzle solving simulator along the lines of Journey, the best description that comes to me is an emotional adventure into the mind. With how beautiful the game appears and how well it plays the biggest draw for most will be what the game means to them. Kay struggles throughout the game with something most of us go through. Love, pain, heartbreak, fear, happiness, and so on. There are parts of this game that will reach out, grab you by the hand and pull you into the game. Comfy on my couch and all alone with this game there were moments when it was all I could do to fight back the tears. Going on this rollercoaster of emotions with Kay and her surroundings led back to some of my childhood memories. Some good and some not so good. That isn’t a bad thing. It is okay to remember where you came from and the strength you needed to get where you are at today.
Sea of Solitude does center on a lot of struggle and coming to term with things for Kay. I believe the game can be helpful to those that also struggle with their own monsters. We’ve all had them in our lives and they are around us all the time. How to deal, how to cope, how to overcome, that is a fantastic message that is throughout the game. Kay isn’t the only one that suffers from pain or grief in the game and that is where it shines the most. When you discover that others feel the same thing as you it can open your eyes to so much more. It might be painful at first but once you can accept what has happened or what is going on, only then will you be able to move on or help those around you heal.
The game isn’t long and can probably be completed in about four hours if you don’t stop and search for things. I honestly don’t want to give away too much about the game because seeing it and feeling it is part of the experience. The game plays great and there isn’t really anything to complain about. I didn’t have any glitches or problems traversing my way through the city. I adored all the characters in the game and the monsters were well…scary monsters.
I knew from the beginning what this game was going to be about but what I didn’t know is how it would reach me on a personal level. The raw emotions of Kay and the other characters in the game were displayed in such a way you couldn’t help but feel what they were going through. I loved the setting of this game and thought it was pure genius having her out in a small boat alone. It captured that feeling as a young person, alone in body, mind and soul. Describing Sea of Solitude is actually difficult because I think it will speak to people on different levels. As I review most games I try to not only pay attention to the story in games but also the mechanics, the setting, graphics and everything else within. In this one I found myself lost in the story and wiping away tears.
Huge thank you to Cornelia Geppert and Jo-Mei games for such an amazing creation. This game really is a piece of artwork.
I highly recommend picking this game up at the current price $19.99.
This game was reviewed on the PS4.