Let’s start with the sound. The music for Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas comes from Nobuo Uematsu and Kenji Ito. Their works include some of the great gaming soundtracks including the Final Fantasy series and the Mana series, also know as Seiken Densetsu.
It’s wonderfully evocative, especially in its sinister bits. And there are plenty of sinister bits. Your father has gone missing, with a notebook and a mysterious necklace the only clues as to his whereabouts.
As you find and follow his trail through the islands of the Uncharted Seas, you’ll battle monsters, learn magic and face many potentially fatal puzzles.
Oceanhorn looks incredible: it’s a great example of just how good games can look on a Retina display, and its visual style manages to be both crisply modern and unashamedly retro at the same time. And its world is massive.
There’s a lot of variety in the locations and their challenges, and the visual style gets noticeably darker as you head toward the ultimate challenge: the namesake beast.
You can’t fail to see that the developer is a big fan of the The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. But it’s more of an affectionate homage to one of gaming’s all-time greats.
Oceanhorn is an epic game that will keep you engrossed for hours, and the ending is both satisfying and surprisingly emotional.