If you were able to see things that you thought you knew, would you try looking at them from a different angle? What if the way you thought was only one way to look at things, would you try a different way or continue the way in which you knew? Sometimes I think about questions like these and wonder if given the chance to be faced with them if I would in return be able to answer them in the way the questions would be asked. So when I heard that Ivonovich Games was coming out with the answer to the questions I was indeed thinking, I was intrigued by how I would in return think and if optical illusions would actually work in VR. So do I finally get my questions answered with Sea of Memories for the PlayStation VR? Let’s find out.
Sea of Memories is about puzzle-solving. You have to look at the puzzles in a different…abstract/optical illusion type of way. You will be rotating the puzzles in every way possible just to get that view of the possibility of being able to solve it. Some of the puzzles are easy and satisfying while others can be difficult and time-consuming, but each fits in with the theme of the chapter that is being told.
You start out on a boat while you hear the narration of the story. Your destination is highlighted by a beam of light coming from the sky. You are able to move forward and backward as well as steering the boat, which is pretty fun and if you just want to go on a joy ride then so be it. If you are not a fan of binders, be warned now, they are present, but only when moving in the boat. I do wish there was an option to remove them, but after a while, at least for me, you start to not pay attention to them.
Before you begin Sea of Memories, you are given a choice of using either using Move controllers or Dualshock 4 controller. I tried both and for me, I prefer the Dualshock 4 controller. As you rotate the puzzle to try and get an idea of what the object is supposed to be based on the part of the story that is being told. If you are having a hard time or to a point where you want to give up, before doing that, you might want to use the hint option. While not always going to give you the most direct answer, it just may help you be on the lookout of what you should be looking for, but just in a different way of looking for the answer.
If after the first attempt, you can try for a 2nd attempt of the hint option. By doing this will allow some of the pieces of the puzzle to change colors and hopefully get you better results. Now if the first and second attempt does not work and you are tired of trying to guess what the answer could possibly be, there is the third attempt. By moving on with this choice…the choice of giving up as you no longer want to work and have that satisfaction of doing it yourself, the third attempt will solve it for you. I have yet to do the third attempt as I did not want that on my conscience. But there is another way, the way of feeling. When you rotate the puzzle, the Dualshock 4 controller will vibrate giving you a sense of direction. Use that to your advantage.
Let’s talk about graphics for a moment. The graphics here do need to be patched and updated. The puzzles up close are fine, but when you are on the boat and seeing the distance, some objects look a little jaggy. I am sure this will be corrected but thought it should be brought up.
The music is calming when it is turned on, but something about certain sounds I could hear was on an almost like repeat that I couldn’t really make out what it was and it was like the sound of the boat was trying to cover it up. It’s not a distraction from the gameplay as much as something for me that I was picking up in the background. Unfortunately for some, there is not an option to turn it off.
Sea of Memories does have a lot going for it with its 100 puzzles for you to solve that are not in your typical puzzle form and for that. I do appreciate the way it makes me look at things in different ways. The ability to piece together the memories of the story is a welcomed addition to the mix. Sea of Memories never tries to be anything more than what is presented. It comes at you with an invitation to a journey through the mind and bringing together optical illusions, but isn’t that why we sometimes enter into Virtual Reality, for the journey?
Sea of Memories is out now on PlayStation VR and is also available on the Oculus Rift/S, Oculus Go, Gear VR on the Oculus Store, Steam, Viveport, and Daydream on the Google Play Store. A review code was provided.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have some more memories to piece together.