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Burly Men at Sea Review

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Posted: 9 months ago, last updated today.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Burly Men at Sea is an adventure where you play three seafaring brothers who explore the Scandinavian seas. It's novel because it requires multiple playthroughs to discover the full narrative. It has a unique cyclical gameplay loop that remembers your previous runs as stories you can look back on that slowly unveil the secrets of the world.

As the game starts you an old bottle with a map of the sea in it. During each adventure you fill out different parts of the map with individual experiences that coalesce into a story not unlike that of a children's book. Here though, rather than turning pages for a linear story, you simply tap and drag the touch screen or direct characters with a controller. Your actions make each of your adventures differ in subtle and substantial ways.

The game's colourful, abstract aesthetic paired with sea-shanty music lend the it the feel of an old fairytale or myth, as do the creatures that populate the oceans, which are taken from Scandinavian folklore. This combines with the simple controls to make it accessible for people of all ages and abilities.

At the end of each playthrough, you add this story to the bookshelf, then set out on another. Each adventure has a similar baseline, but offers the chance to visit different places or interact with different elements of the world to create a brand new and unique narrative.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 29/09/2016, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Developer: Brain and Brain (@Brain_And_Brain)


Duration: It takes between 20 minutes and 40 minutes to play a round of this game. The game has unique gameplay that allows you to "complete" the story in one sitting of about half an hour, then come back time and time again and have a different adventure, providing plenty of replayability and several hours of overall play time.
Players: This is a single player game.


Burly Men at Sea usually costs £7.99 to £11.99.

Burly Men At Sea Maestro Beard Edition

PlayStation Store PS Vita £11.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £11.99

Burly Men at Sea

PlayStation Store PS Vita £7.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £7.99
Switch Store Switch £8.99
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 3 for Very Mild Violence. Noteworthy occurrences are a maelstrom (accompanied by menacing music), an attack by a giant jellyfish and a scene where a ship is eaten by a giant whale.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Burly Men at Sea Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@Brain_And_Brain) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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