Slice of Sea review on Indie Hive

Slice of Sea: A Pretty, Pixel-Hunting Point-and-Click Puzzle!

Slice of Sea is a heavily stylised adventure and puzzle game with primarily point-and-click style gameplay. Players take on the role of Seaweed and explore the desolate, dust-filled world in which they must collect items, solve puzzles and lead seaweed back to the ocean!

Players can control Seaweed with keyboard controls (WASD or arrows) and the characters movements are entirely separate from any mouse interactions as Seaweed does not need to be near an item in order for the interaction to take place. There is a fast travel system that can be accessed from specific points throughout the game to speed up travel. It is also impossible to die, if Seaweed falls to their doom they simply respawn at the location that they fell from.

Whilst there is some variety in the puzzles types, including jigsaw, hidden object and environmental, the majority of the game is made up of familiar inventory-based puzzles. Slice of Sea gets off to a good start in this regard but things soon go downhill.

There are very few interactable objects, some of which are not clear at all and easily missable; this means players are left roaming what eventually becomes a vast and sizeable map in search of one, often obscure detail. There is often little logic or direction, the current objective is often unclear and the lack of a viewable map or hint system means there is no assistance if players get stuck. To further confuse matters, a large number of totally useless items can be collected and stored in the inventory so finding something doesn’t necessarily mean progress.

Slice of Sea features no narration, dialogue or text and contains no explicitly delivered narrative. Unfortunately, the wishy-washy attempt at telling a story through the gameplay and environmental elements is vague and speculative at best. Players will probably know from the game’s description that they are helping the protagonist Seaweed back to the ocean but there is nothing to explain who or where the character is, why they need to get back, why there are broken trains and other machines everywhere, etc.

Since there is very little sense of story progression (if any), motivation to trawl through a laborious pixel-hunt across dozens of scenes is stifled further. This also adds further confusion to the gameplay as players have no idea what Seaweed’s goals are beyond eventually reaching the sea.

Slice of Sea’s aesthetics are its best feature and serve as some consolation for the disappointing and often frustrating gameplay. The unique, hand-drawn artwork has a sketchy, cartoon style with lots of detail and texture and charming animation. The moody colour palette of dark, muted shades perfectly match the dusty, desolate environments full of broken machines and helps create a very atmospheric experience.

The music is similarly evocative and consists of mostly melancholy tunes featuring eerie vocals and the distorted twangs of stringed instruments that complement the visuals well. The minimal sound effects are not especially noteworthy but do help to create a more well-rounded environment overall.

Whilst Slice of Sea has some fantastic artwork and music, this is not enough to counter the convoluted nature of the gameplay. This game has the potential to be very confusing, even with the aid of a walkthrough and is, in my opinion, not a great example of a point-and-click game. I’d only recommend it to those with a keen eye for detail, a good memory and the patience to essentially pixel-hunt their way through the game if/when things become too frustrating. I was looking forward to this game and wanted to enjoy it but struggled to do so beyond the first half an hour.


Slice of Sea review on Indie Game Reviewer

You’ve probably played a game like Slice of Sea before: it involves exploring a 2D environment and picking up items that are then used to solve puzzles and get past impeding obstacles. It’s straightforward and easy to jump into.

But as familiar as the gameplay is, the game stands out because of the other factors it has going for it.


Slice of Sea is one of those games with a lot of items to find, many hidden in plain sight. This aspect of the gameplay reminded me of Samorost, which also led to me spam-clicking when I got stuck in particular areas. But this aspect of finding items is fun and puts an emphasis on focusing on small details in every area.

Puzzles are fairly straightforward and range from sequence puzzles to those that must be solved using environmental clues. There’s just enough puzzle-solving in this two-hour adventure to keep things engaging throughout. The game tends to lean on more on exploration, though, as puzzles felt secondary, and they aren’t too difficult or obtuse, offering just the right amount of challenge.

Some puzzles involve devices and structures that are more unfamiliar or almost alien, they requiring more outside-the-box thinking. Thankfully, it doesn’t get too ridiculous – like, say, using a dried flower as duct tape or anything like that. It’s more contextually logical in that regard, which I appreciated.


In order to create a more lonely adventure, there aren’t many NPCs to interact with. There isn’t much of a narrative to get invested in, either, which is a bit of a missed opportunity because the world in which Slice of Sea is set is mysterious and compelling. I do feel, however, that there is a good amount of environmental storytelling which kept me curious enough to see more of the game’s world.

The game has you trek through a number of detailed desolate spaces. Whether decaying manmade machinery or abandoned structures, there is plenty of sightseeing to be had, and it’s all lovingly crafted. There isn’t much of a variety between areas, but I enjoyed exploring the many mysterious locations on display.

There is some backtracking to be had in this game. Kind of like a Metroidvania, Slice of Sea sends you back to places that are now accessible thanks to a newly acquired item. It relies on your ability to remember locales and places, so note-taking is advised. The backtracking doesn’t become an issue, thanks to the fast-travel system implemented into the game, but this doesn’t stop the world layout from becoming confusing at times.

The game map is mostly made up of spaces going left and right, but there are times in which you are able to go up, which then can also go left and right. This creates branching, forked paths to the game which makes it easy to get lost. I wish there was better detail on offer for navigating between areas.


There is so much detail within every screen of this game! Small details on rusted structures and carved pillars are abundant. Clearly a lot of love went into creating this hand-drawn world. Whether it’s desert environments or abandoned man-made spaces, the muted color palette ties everything together into a very pleasing aesthetic, and the pervasive high level of detail creates something deeply atmospheric.

The atmosphere was also enhanced by Slice of Sea’s musical score. Melodic, ambient echoed pianos and dark moody synths help flesh out the world. It makes exploration feel gloomy and leaves areas feeling more morose. I really appreciate a soundtrack that’s able to make a world feel dark and gloomy while still being melodically pretty enough to make it an enjoyable experience.

Slice of Sea is a puzzle exploration game worth your time. It features captivating visuals along with a stellar score. Exploring can be overwhelming at times, and puzzles offered the right amount of challenge. It’s a wonderfully detailed world that enraptured me. There is a lot to like here, making it a game that is sure to please fans of atmospheric adventure games.


Slice of Sea rewiev on PC Gamer

Slice of Sea wants you to point and click every inch of its hand-illustrated landscapes.

Slice of Sea’s beautiful and soothing façade hides a prickly adventure from the Flash era.

I grew up playing point-and-click adventures, cutting my teeth on Sierra’s crushingly cruel quests before settling down with Lucasarts’ more freewheeling romps, but I would never consider myself an expert at the genre. New adventure game Slice of Sea reminded me why: There are evolutionary branches of the adventure game that my brain is just not made for, and this game is a direct descendant of a particularly demanding and thorny lineage.

Slice of Sea is the latest hand-painted puzzle adventure from prolific comic author and indie developer Mateusz Skutnik, who’s been releasing games since the Flash era. Most notable are the thirteen adventures in his Submachine series and the eight Daymare Town games. These escape room-esque adventures were defined by their detached and lonely vibes. Aside from the occasional scrawled note and item name to nudge players in the right direction, progress came purely through poking and prodding at strange devices across multiple screens, intuiting their connections and purpose. There were no cruel and sudden deaths to suffer, but progress required your intuition to line up with the developer’s intent.

Slice of Sea initially appears to be different. Players control Seaweed, a little oceanic gremlin piloting a pair of Wallace & Gromit-esque techno-trousers. Using the arrow keys (or WASD) you can steer them through a gorgeous watercolour world on a wordlessly-told pilgrimage to return to the ocean. Seaweed can’t do much by themselves, so it’s up to you to click on the world to interact with its many objects and machines.

The biggest twist in Slice of Sea’s point-and-click adventuring is that despite having a character on-screen and an inventory of items, there’s no physical restrictions on what you can interact with. Seaweed standing on one rock pillar and an item you need sitting on another, nowhere within reach? Doesn’t matter. Click and the item just blinks into your inventory, ready to use anywhere.

Much like in the Submachine games, you are a disembodied presence, interacting with the world one click at a time. Aside from having to stand on the occasional pressure sensor, Seaweed is just along for the ride as you clear their path.

What a lovely path it is, too. A softly shaded and beautifully illustrated set of scenes, the world of Slice of Sea is fragmented and crumbling, dusty and desolate but not abandoned. There are pockets of civilization and strange people of many species seemingly disinterested in an ambulatory frond of sea flora bounding past, as if this is just a daily occurrence. A seemingly sealed train car half-buried under a sand dune might contain a passenger engrossed in a book, nonplussed at your arrival. There’s this constant sense that this world—its very laws of physics fraying at the edges—is just doing its own thing as you pass through to somewhere else.

If the intent is for the player to linger on each screen and fully absorb what they see, then it’s reinforced—or forced, really—by constant, repetitive pixel-hunting. Interactable buttons and objects are often just a dusting of pixels wide, even on my massive curved monitor. Optional collectibles (for achievements, mostly) are even more hidden, often appearing camouflaged on distant foreground or background items. I frequently found myself sweeping my cursor back and forth, looking for it to change shape for a moment, indicating that I’d brushed something usable.

Even with steady progress and the occasional peek at a video walkthrough, Slice of Sea took me a whole day to finish, and if I’d not had someone else’s notes to crib from it would have taken far longer. My brain was screaming for a hint; a line of dialogue to tell me what is or isn’t working or just a button to highlight interactable objects and room exits. And yet if Slice of Sea handed me any of those things it would lose its identity as a descendant of the Submachine and Daymare Town games. It would no longer be part of the legacy of Flash adventure gaming. It would no longer be Slice of Sea.

While Seaweed’s journey was more of an uphill struggle than I’d expected, I still enjoyed my time with Slice of Sea, even if I did have to turn to others for assistance. Its world is sumptuous and every new screen is a lushly illustrated treat—an intrinsic reward for progress. Every complaint I could level at it could be considered a positive by fans of Skutnik’s earlier works.

I wish I’d enjoyed it as much as I think they will. This is a treat for people who spent hours patiently puzzling their way through the Submachine series, with detail-oriented minds and eagle-sharp eyes.

As frustrating as my experience with it sometimes was, Slice of Sea really is a treat for the eyes and ears. Seaweed’s adventure took me on a tour of a strange and fascinating twilight world, crumbling to dust but still full of life. It was also a reminder that the point-and-click adventure genre is a bigger, more varied place now than ever, filled with interesting mutations in game design. If you’ve the patience for it, don’t mind a little pixel-hunting and (ideally) cut your teeth on the unforgiving Flash era of escape rooms, Slice of Sea is easy to recommend, and it’s out now on and Steam for $24.99/£19.49.

But if like me you found solace in Lucasarts’ easygoing puzzle design, perhaps pass on this trip to the beach. Some sandcastles are best observed from a distance.


Slice of Sea review on

Slice of Sea im Test (PC): Seegang ohne Reiseführer.

Mateusz Skutnik bringt mit Slice of Sea eine salzige Brise auf den heimischen Computerbildschirm. Wir haben das handgezeichnete Point-and-Click-Adventure getestet. Hier unser Urteil!

Wir haben Slice of Sea schon im Februar in die zehn vielversprechendsten Point&Clicks des Jahres 2021 aufgenommen. Damit dürfte die Frage nach dem Genre geklärt sein.

Doch worum geht es eigentlich in dem Abenteuer von Solo-Entwickler Mateusz Skutnik? Diese einfache Frage ist nicht ganz so einfach zu beantworten, denn Slice of Sea verzichtet vollständig auf Worte und Erklärungen.

Wir werden recht unvermittelt ins Geschehen geworfen und machen uns direkt auf den Weg. Jegliche Schrift erinnert an ägyptische Hieroglyphen, sodass die Spielenden bei der Deutung des Geschehens auf sich selbst gestellt sind. Nur die Items sind mit Namen beschriftet. Dass Slice of Sea auch auf Deutsch spielbar ist, bietet also nur einen kleinen Vorteil.

Das Werk eines kreativen Geistes.

Die Beschreibung, die auf Steam zu lesen ist, verrät uns, dass der Protagonist Seaweed sich außerhalb seiner eigentlichen Heimat aufhält. Nicht weiter überraschend, da es sich bei Seaweed um einen laufenden Seetang handelt. Seaweed trägt einen metallenen Anzug, aus dem nur sein Kopf mit den Seetangblättern herausragt.

So gegen seine staubtrockene Umgebung gerüstet, macht er sich auf dem Weg zurück nach Hause. Dabei durchquert er eine ebenso fantastische wie dystopische Welt, die von verfallenen Bauwerken, antiken Ruinen und alter Technik nur so wimmelt. Gigantische Kreaturen durchschweben oder durchwandern den Hintergrund und erschaffen eine Atmosphäre voller majestätischer Melancholie.

Slice of Sea ist komplett auf Papier handgezeichnet. Für die Outlines benutzt Comiczeichner und Entwickler Mateusz Skutnik Tusche, für Hintergründe und Kolorierung kommen Wasserfarben zum Einsatz. So schafft er einen einzigartigen Stil, der durch seinen Detailreichtum und die meergrünen Farben besticht.

Die Umgebungen, die Seaweed durchquert, besitzen alle drei Ebenen: einen Bildvordergrund, in dem Items liegen können; eine Ebene, auf der Seaweed sich hin- und herbewegt und einen Hintergrund, in dem sich die fernen Bauwerke und wandernden Gestalten befinden.

Ein Schritt vorwärts, eine Schnellreise zurück.

Die Steuerung gestaltet sich denkbar simpel: dank Tastatursteuerung kann die Maus frei zur Erkundung des Bildschirms eingesetzt werden. Dabei werden Items eingesammelt, die automatisch in einem unbegrenzten Inventar landen.

Außerdem müssen Maschinen aktiviert, Schalter betätigt und Gegenstände bewegt werden. Das funktioniert zwar intuitiv, es gibt aber keine Möglichkeit, sich die interaktiven Spots anzeigen zu lassen. So haben wir das eine oder andere Mal einen Gegenstand oder ein Rätsel übersehen und mussten umkehren.

Dank eines praktischen Schnellreisesystems mussten wir dabei keine Wanderungen unternehmen, sondern konnten den nächsten Portalstein aufsuchen und zu einem der anderen Portalsteine springen. Das erleichtert das Backtracking, das einen elementaren Bestandteil des Gameplays darstellt.

Immer wieder erhalten wir einen Gegenstand, der uns an einen bereits besuchten Ort zurückführt und dort eine neue Tür öffnet – sprichwörtlich oder tatsächlich. Nicht immer ist direkt ersichtlich, was genau für einen Fortschritt benötigt wird, aber wer die Augen offenhält, kann sich die Zusammenhänge herleiten.

Wahrhaft ein Puzzle-Adventure.

Jene Rätsel bilden das Herzstück von Slice of Sea. Es wird uns Spielerinnen und Spielern selbst überlassen, sie uns zu erschließen. Das kann durchaus herausfordernd sein. Wir haben uns oft den Kopf zerbrochen, wo jenes spezielle Item hingehören könnte, an welcher Ecke wir einen Hinweis übersehen haben oder wo sich das letzte Puzzlestück befinden könnte.

Grundsätzlich funktionieren die Rätsel alle ähnlich. Seaweed setzt Technologie wieder in Gang, die, wenn aktiviert, hellblau aufleuchtet. Viele Türen öffnen sich erst, wenn alle Mechanismen aktiv sind, sodass wir mehrere Bälle gleichzeitig in der Luft halten.

Audiovisuelles Feedback hilft uns, zu erkennen, ob wir uns auf dem richtigen Weg befinden, aber bereits zu einem frühen Zeitpunkt wird ein Notizblock unerlässlich, um die überall verstreuten Hinweise zu notieren – selbst, wenn ihr Zweck noch nicht enthüllt wurde. Denn ein Hinweissystem gibt es nicht, ein Aspekt, der sich gerade für Anfänger als zeitraubend herausstellen dürfte.

Zu den Schwächen von Slice of Sea zählt nicht nur die Kennzeichnung von Interaktionsmöglichkeiten, die leicht zu übersehen sind, sondern auch die von Durchgängen. Es ist öfter passiert, dass wir einen Durchgang und damit ein ganzes Areal übersehen haben, das zur Lösung der Rätsel notwendig war.

Das ist darauf zurückzuführen, dass Seaweed nicht nur nach rechts und links, sondern auch in die Hintergrundebene hineinlaufen kann. Diese Passagen sind nicht immer eindeutig zu erkennen.


Slice of Sea ist ein Point&Click der alten Schule im modernen Gewand. Mateusz Skutnik versteht es meisterhaft, die Puzzle-Elemente miteinander zu verweben und damit unsere Gehirnwindungen zu verknoten. Dabei werden wir nicht mit Tipps verwöhnt.

Wir empfehlen, bei völliger Ratlosigkeit einen Guide zurate zu ziehen, um keinen Frust aufkommen zu lassen. Für den ist in das entspannte Adventure einfach zu friedlich. Atmosphärische Musik, die von Thumpmonks und Cat Jahnke erschaffen wurde, lässt uns tief in diese Welt voller wunderlicher Bewohner und verfallender Zivilisation eintauchen.

Wir hätten uns mehr Interaktionsmöglichkeiten mit nicht lösungsrelevanten Gegenständen und Personen gewünscht, um dem Protagonisten noch mehr Leben einzuhauchen. So verschwindet die rudimentäre Handlung vollständig hinter den Rätseln.



Slice of Sea review on Polygamia

Slice of Sea to ręcznie rysowana przygodówka, o której nie słyszeliście, a powinniście.

Nowa gra Mateusza Skutnika to kawał wyzwania dla miłośników gier logicznych. Przybliżamy tę oryginalną produkcję i rozmawiamy z jej twórcą.

Twórcą gry Slice of Sea jest Mateusz Skutnik, wybitny i utytułowany polski komiksiarz, twórca serii Rewolucje, Morfołaki i Blaki, autor gier flashowych z serii Submachine i Daymare Town. Jego twórczość mówi sama za siebie. Mateusz Skutnik jest jednocześnie człowiekiem, którego znam osobiście, stąd powstrzymam się w tym artykule od jakościowej oceny jego nowej gry. Uważam jednak, że jest obiektywnie na tyle interesująca, że warto przynajmniej zwrócić na nią uwagę.

4,5 roku. Tyle zajęło Mateuszowi Skutnikowi stworzenie jego pierwszej “pełnometrażowej” gry. Przygodowo-logicznej produkcji, ciekawie mieszającej gatunki i pełnej logicznych wyzwań. W porównaniu z poprzednimi grami, nad którymi pracował, różnica w skali jest kolosalna.

W 2018 wydawało mi się naiwnie, że praca potrwa około dwóch lat, tak żeby w 2019 gra była gotowa do wydania. Praca przedłużyła się jednak do czterech lat, a w międzyczasie gra rozrosła się i zmieniła się koncepcja wyglądu gry. Na początku miały to być statyczne obrazki po których biega bohater, potem wymyśliłem sobie, że zrobię paralelne horyzonty i fronty, co potroiło ilość potrzebnych grafik do gry. Nagle zamiast potrzebnych 172 pełnoekranowych rysunków gra wymagała ich 516 – mówi mi Mateusz.

Właśnie oprawa graficzna jest najbardziej wyróżniającym się elementem Slice of Sea. Każdy ekran (a jest ich multum) to osobne, ręcznie narysowane na papierze dzieło sztuki. Sam twórca mówi o grze jako o najważniejszym dziele jego kariery.

Na samym rysowaniu i malowaniu spędziłem dwa lata (2019 i 2020). I uważam, że warto było. Ta gra od samego początku miała być moją największą, najbardziej rozbudowaną pracą. Takie opus magnum. Nie darowałbym sobie, gdybym nie włożył w tę grę tyle, ile to możliwe. Teraz mogę śmiało powiedzieć, że dałem z siebie wszystko – mówi.

Ocenę tego, czy warto było również z perspektywy odbiorcy, pozostawię już Wam. Z pewnością jest to coś bardzo oryginalnego w koncepcie i realizacji. Bohaterem sterujemy za pomocą klawiszy WSAD jak w normalnej platformówce, a jednocześnie zagadki rozwiązujemy kursorem jak w przygodówce point and click. Prowadzi to do nietypowego miksu rozgrywki, który trudno do czegoś porównać. Jest to od początku do końca gra bardzo autorska.

To również jedna z tych małych gier, które przemykają gdzieś, często niezauważone. Dla jednego to dzieło życia, dla innych – jedna z dziesiątek gier, które trafiają na Steama każdego dnia. Byłoby mi, i tu włączę na koniec odrobinę subiektywizmu, zwyczajnie smutno, gdyby zginęła gdzieś w tym gąszczu. Wiem, że wciąż wśród graczy PC wiele jest osób, ceniących tego typu logiczną rozgrywkę. To dla Was.

Autor: Dominik Gąska.


Slice of Sea review on Hey Poor Player

Slice of Sea Review: If you’re looking for me, you better check under the sea.

I am once again opening up a whimsical hand drawn point and click adventure article by restating my love for Machinarium. I’m sorry, I can’t help it. But I’ll change it up a bit by saying something bold and unprecedented — I may have found a new yardstick by which to measure this genre. Shocking, I know, but Slice of Sea managed to do it. My only hope is that I can artfully articulate what exactly “it” is.

Developed and self-published by solo indie dev Mateusz Skutnik, Slice of Sea is succinctly summed on its Steam page as a “peaceful adventure and puzzle game.” Available on Steam for $24.99, Slice of Sea has players taking on the role of a lonely little sea creature named Seaweed looking for their way home. Painstakingly hand drawn by Skutnk and featuring mystical music by Thumpmonks complete with a hauntingly beautiful theme song composed and performed by Cat Jahnke, Slice of Sea will pull players in with its captivating aesthetics and inviting gameplay.

Slice of Sea opens up on Seaweed, an inquisitive little sea creature who has been somehow separated from his friends and family back home. Using a sort of specialized mech suit, Seaweed is able to walk on land, traipsing through abandoned trains, dark tunnels, and sprawling cityscapes in an effort to be reunited with their kind. Of course, it’s not as simple as punching an address into a GPS and just following the directions; instead, Seaweed will have to solve a slew of puzzles to make their journey home successful. Can you help Seaweed uncover the mysteries of this world in an effort to return to their own?

Let’s talk aesthetics: Slice of Sea is subtly stunning. The hand drawn animations are lively and constantly moving in a lifelike, mesmerizing fashion. It’s hard to tell if the scenes are above ground or below the water’s surface at times, but I’d say that makes it all the more enchanting. There is so much excitement and detail going on in each scene that every environment feels new, no matter how many times you’ve walked through it. Paired with an ambient but expressive soundtrack that serves to heighten the entire experience, Slice of Sea looks and sounds spectacular.

As for the puzzles, Slice of Sea has some of the best puzzles in the entire genre, hands down. Instead of putting items together to MacGyver some sort of inexplicable tool that only makes sense after it’s been created, Slice of Sea merely asks players to be observant and inquisitive. Every time Seaweed enters an area, there’s an obvious path followed by a few not so obvious ones, each with items to collect or place in their proper spot. Feel like you’ve hit a dead end in one area after collecting a bunch of items? Start backtracking a few scenes (made easier by a plethora of fast travel points) and you’ll realize there’s an entire world you missed just by turning left instead of right. The joy in Slice of Sea comes from exploration and experimentation, where progression is incremental — yet constant — but always fun.

While playing Slice of Sea, I couldn’t quite get a sense for the universe’s logic. One setting certainly seems like it could be above ground, but hiking a few scenes to the right uncovers an area that is definitely under the sea with nary an elevation change between the two. Sometimes metal shrapnel floats, while other times it adheres to the laws of gravity. Gigantic mollusks hover just on the horizon, while birds still need to flap their wings to get airborne. The major things made sense, but the details had such an air of mystery about them.

I think that’s what I loved most about Slice of Sea, surprisingly even more than the glorious aesthetics and intuitive exploration-based puzzles. Seaweed’s world is a feast for every sense, but something about it felt almost enchantingly impossible. At multiple points in the game, I found myself holding my breath for fear of the nuanced magic being blown away by a careless sigh. There are not enough words in my vocabulary to accurately depict how spellbinding Slice of Sea genuinely is, its genius design invoking a sincere desire to explore a mystical world with laws and logic I comprehend on a practical level but fail to grasp on a conscious one. Of course, that’s part of the charm — I want to understand how to move through this world but wish to remain blissfully ignorant of its ways so that its magic may always endure.

I have but one complaint — its story (or, rather, its ending). Everything else about Slice of Sea is simply perfect, but its story ends rather abruptly without any real warning. They say life is a journey, not a destination, and Seaweed’s journey was a literal joy to experience, but any sort of context during that time that would have tipped me off to how Seaweed felt about going home or how they were closing in on familiar territory would have made for a smoother transition. A small complaint, surely — one that shouldn’t stop anyone from getting this marvelous game.

Slice of Sea is phenomenal in practically every regard and should be used as a case study for the genre going forward. The way it so brilliantly rewards observation and exploration in a manner that naturally calls to our childlike curiosity is a literal joy to experience. As I struggle to eloquently conclude this review, all I can think of is repeatedly shaking the shoulders of each reader and exclaiming “get this game, get this game, get this game!” Slice of Sea is absolutely one of my top five titles for 2021, and if you love this genre, I’m confident you’ll agree with me.



Slice of Sea review on Sensu Stricte

Plasterek morza.

Przeszedłem grę. Ciężko bywało momentami, ale się udało. Lubicie point’n’clicki. Ja bardzo, szczególnie te mające pewnie niedopowiedzenia fabularne, te z trudnymi zagadkami, i te z tajemniczym a czasem mrocznym klimatem.

Najpopularniejsi twórcy, ostatnimi czasy w tej branży to Robin Ras (ten od Rusty Lake) oraz Jakub Dvorský (studio Amanita, czyli Machinarium i Samorosty). No i jest jeszcze twórca, którego mam wrażenie nie doceniamy w Polsce, natomiast jest bardzo popularny za granicą. Może dlatego, że jest z naszego pięknego kraju. Mateusz Skutnik, bo o nim mowa, jest autorem komiksów i robi gry. Bardzo dobre gry. Komiksy zresztą też.

Pisałem już, kiedy o całej serii submaszyn, które przyniosły mu największą sławę pośród fanów klikanek. Były też inne gry, które niestety odeszły w zapomnienie wraz ze śmiercią Flasha. Można je ściągnąć teraz ze strony Mateusza (część jest za darmo, w tym świetny Cover Front) w formie, który da się uruchomić na windowsach, co bardzo polecam. Teraz przyszedł czas na coś nowego.

Slice of see to połączenie point’n’clicka z platformówką. Jedną ręką ruszamy bohaterem, drugą klikamy po planszy w poszukiwaniu rozwiązania. Bohaterem jest wodorost włożony w mechaniczne nogi. Czyli nic nadzwyczajnego. Natomiast świat, po którym się porusza… Świat jest wyjęty z serii komiksowej Skutnika — Rewolucje. I cała ta gra, podobnie jak komiksy jest ręcznie narysowana. I jest to jedna najładniejszych gier ostatnich czasów. Świat i postaci z komiksu znakomicie sprawdzają się również w grze, ale nie obawiajcie się, związek z komiksami jest na tyle luźny, że nie musicie ich znać, żeby dobrze bawić podczas gry. Zresztą w grze znajdziemy też cytaty innych komiksów autora. Chociażby w pociągu, którym podróżuje Blaki.

Gra jest dość trudna. Trudniejsza od wspomnianego Machinarium na przykład. Podobnie jak w przypadku submaszyn, nie obyło się bez robienia notatek, żeby ją przejść. Część trudności wynika też z tego, że jest ręcznie narysowana i czasem ciężko odnaleźć na ekranie element, który trzeba kliknąć (od razu przypomniało mi się wypatrywanie piksela/kamienia w Elwirze). Gra jest trudna, ale jest do przejścia, zagadki są logiczne i chociaż czasem mają nieoczywiste rozwiązania, to nie są one nieosiągalne dla przeciętnego gracza. W grze można jednak ugrzęznąć na dłużej i to, czego mi zabrakło to jakiś prosty system podpowiedzi czy wskazówek, który można by włączyć w przypadku, kiedy nie udało się od godziny zrobić nic nowego.

Nie wolno pominąć też warstwy dźwiękowej gry. Podobnie jak w przypadku submaszyn, autorami muzyki (prócz piosenki tytułowej wykonywanej przez Cat Jahnke) są The Thumpmonks i podobnie jak w przypadku submaszym muzyka jest trafiona w stu procentach. Dopełnia całości klimatu, a pojawiające się gdzieniegdzie w tle dźwięki syren kolejowych potrafią wzbudzić lekki niepokój.

Grę da się skończyć w około półtorej godziny, chociaż mi zajęło to nieco dłużej — w sumie jakieś trze wieczory. Oczywiście mowa o czasie gry bez zdobywania wszystkich dodatkowych osiągnięć. Będę pewnie jeszcze wracał do tego tytułu, co jakiś czas, tym bardziej, że mam wrażenie, że uciekła mi gdzieś istotna zagadka ze statkiem.

Polecam jak wszystkie gry Mateusza Skutnika.


Slice of Sea review on the Games Brew

Abbiamo finalmente potuto provare Slice of Sea, l’avventura grafica del talentuoso Mateusz Skutnik e l’esperienza è stata davvero magica.

Slice of Sea: alghette coraggiose.

Al comando di una simpatica alghetta momentaneamente fuori dal suo normale habitat, ed in grado di camminare grazie ad un esoscheletro meccanico, verremo immediatamente lanciati nel mondo acquarellato e misterioso di Slice of Sea. Qual è la nostra missione? Chi siamo? Che misteri nasconde lo strano mondo terrestre in cui ci troviamo? Tante domande a cui potremo dare risposta solo esplorando il mondo che ci circonda, e risolvendo gli enigmi che incontreremo durante le nostre peregrinazioni.

Dal punto di vista del gameplay il titolo di Mateusz Skutnik è una classica avventura punta e clicca, in cui vista d’aquila ed ingegno saranno necessari per poter avanzare. Ma, a differenza di altri titoli simili, Slice of Sea non arriva mai a picchi di “frustrazione” estrema tipici del genere. Avremo invece a che fare con enigmi la cui complessità è perfettamente bilanciata, che richiederanno l’utilizzo di un po’ delle nostre celluline grigie, senza però esagerare. Sebbene talvolta sia necessario un pò di backtracking per trovare tutti gli oggetti necessari per procedere o per capire come funzioni un determinato puzzle, difficilmente ci ritroveremo a vagare senza meta tra uno scenario e l’altro.

Meraviglie artistiche.

Quello che veramente rende Slice of Sea unico è, però, lo stile con cui è stato realizzato. Ogni singola parte dell’avventura è stata infatti realizzata dalla “manina santa” di Mateusz Skutnik, capace di realizzare personaggi ed ambientazioni in grado di stupire ed incantare. Slice of Sea non solo dimostra, ancora una volta, l’abilità di questo artista a tutto tondo, ma è l’ennesima prova di come la Polonia sia tra i principali centri di sviluppo videoludico europei (se non addirittura il principale), capace di partorire titoli unici tanto dal punto di vista del gameplay quanto da quello grafico.

Anche nel caso di Slice of Sea, perdersi nelle ambientazioni del mondo di gioco è sempre un piacere e l’art design, così differente dal consueto style del mondo videoludico nippo-americano, è una manna dal cielo soprattutto per coloro che sono alla costante ricerca di qualcosa di differente con cui togliersi di dosso l’impressione del “già visto”.

Un titolo armonioso.

Slice of Sea è una di quelle avventure che ti cattura sin dai primi 30 secondi di gioco, capace di non perdersi in inutili “spiegoni” lasciando che sia il nostro intuito a guidarci. Un’avventura incantata, poetica, ma allo stesso tempo malinconica, tutti aspetti tipici dell’arte dell’Europa Orientale, che donano a Slice of Sea un’atmosfera unica, grazie anche ad una buona colonna sonora che ci accompagnerà durante tutto il gioco.

Se siete tra coloro che sono alla costante ricerca di avventure grafiche capaci di dar filo da torcere al vostro ingegno, deliziando al contempo i vostri occhi, allora Slice of Sea è il titolo che fa per voi.


Slice of Sea review on Buried Treasure

How can it be 14 years since I first played a Mateusz Skutnik game? I discovered the former Flash game creator via Daymare, and then went back to his Submachine series, and just adored what he was doing. These were Amanita-esque clicky puzzle games, exploring his wonderful art to find codes, click inventory objects into their holes, and gradually open up doors and paths. This is precisely the format for his latest, Slice Of Sea, except this time it’s feature-length.

You play as… look, I’m not responsible for this. You play as a piece of seaweed in some metal pants. We can’t change that. Why are you a piece of seaweed in some robotic underwear? I have finished the game, and I absolutely couldn’t tell you. What is your purpose in meticulously poring over this intricately labyrinthine world of wonderfully strange creatures and obtusely locked doors? Not a clue. But gosh I had a good time playing it.

It’s so interesting to see one of these mobile-friendly (although mysteriously, this is only on PC so far) writ huge, made hours long through sheer volume. It gives the puzzle format an almost Metroidvania-ish vibe, previously explored areas of the world opening up in new directions the further you go. By the end your inventory is ludicrously large, albeit mostly packed with the various pieces of detritus you gather along with actually useful items.

What’s most important here is how wonderful it looks. It’s a constant joy just to stare at, with the most amazing creature designs throughout. It’s all hand-drawn, then animated, then given even more depth with superb sound effects. (The scritchy-scratchy-squelchy noises made by what I’ll call the sky-nautiluses is my favourite.) Foregrounds are meticulously detailed, while backgrounds have a merrily sketchy look, depicting an alien world covered in remnants of ruined buildings, abandoned trains, shipwrecked boats, and out-of-time surviving houses. So much seems as if it crashed through a portal from Earth, although nothing living is vaguely familiar.

Each scene is packed with tiny details, meaning you have to scour for items, clues, puzzles and optional collectables. The further you get, the more of this crazy layout you have to try to hold together in your brain, since it would probably break space-time to try to map it. Fortunately, there are a very generous number of warping points that allow you to leap great distances, accessed through discovery.

Puzzles are rarely more involved than finding missing levers, entering codes, or gathering scattered items to get a machine working once more. Occasionally there are some neat twists – a nice example is a two-room puzzle where you always have to be in the opposite space to interact with the other. This brings me neatly to the other peculiarity of Slice Of Sea: its controls.

Rather than the more usual mouse-only method for such games, here you control your robo-weed character with WASD, the W (or Space) jumping, the S having you enter doorways, or walk ‘into’ the screen through passages. The mouse cursor is then used for all interaction with the world, to pick up objects, pull levers, place inventory items, etc. The confusing part being that your character never needs to be near anything to use it. It’s as if you’re playing alongside him, an omnipotent hand in his world.

I have some gripes. I mentioned pressing S to walk into passages, but such paths are too often woefully marked, and in the end, I resorted to just hitting S as I walked around, just in case. Which sucked a bit. The other problem that plagues the whole game is a lack of propelling reward when completing some of the larger puzzles. Too often, you can spend absolutely bloody ages getting all five of something-or-other to open a door that’s been nagging you for hours, and when you get in it’s just another object you don’t yet know what to do with. Finally get all the cogs you need to open that door, and all you’ll get is another fuse to add to your pile, for a purpose that won’t be revealed for a long while. You can end up getting more significant finds just walking sideways to a new location, and it’s a shame this isn’t better balanced.

Oh, and it ends. I mean, everything ends, second law of thermodynamics and all that. But wow, this just stops. I felt like I was right in the middle of it when it suddenly switched to a closing cutscene. The plot made not a lick of sense. It would have been a better game if it had, but it’s no disaster that it doesn’t. What matters is the entertainment on the way, and this was packed with it.

And my goodness, the score! I’ve saved this to the end, because it’s spectacular. It’s by Mateusz’s frequent collaborator, The Thumpmonks, and wonderfully they’ve uploaded the entire thing to their YouTube.

It’s definitely not a cheap game, at £20. I wish it weren’t that much, because I see far fewer people buying this as a result. While it’s certainly longer than the sorts of games it’s historically based on, it matches an Amanita title, who rarely charge over £10. I feel sure that at half the price, it’d sell far more than twice as many copies. At £20, I’m hesitant to recommend it. At £10, I’d be demanding you buy it. But then, value is relative to the person purchasing, and you’re a big girl/boy, you can make that decision for yourself. Either way, this is a fab puzzle game, with just adorable art and music.


Slice of Sea review on the Pixel Post

C’est un nouveau lundi miteux qui se dessine, et pour ne pas céder à la morosité du début de semaine, l’indé matin met en lumière un jeu indépendant, tout juste ou bientôt sorti, qui nous a tapé dans l’œil. De quoi repartir du bon pied, avec curiosité en bandoulière et foi en l’humanité. Cette semaine, goûtons aux embruns de Slice of Sea.

Slice of Sea ne sort pas de nulle part : c’est le nouveau jeu de Mateusz Skutnik, développeur et dessinateur polonais à l’œuvre depuis une vingtaine d’années. Celles et ceux qui ont pratiqué le jeu flash ont peut-être déjà croisé sa route, en particulier la série des Submachine, suite de salles dont il fallait comprendre les mécanismes pour espérer en sortir. Slice of Sea s’insère lui dans la tradition du point’n’click dessiné venu d’Europe de l’Est, dont Amanita Design se fait le chantre depuis plusieurs années, maintenant.

Engoncée dans une armure de métal dont ne ressort que sa tête aux feuilles noircies, Seaweed parcourt des paysages inhabités, comme un plancher marin qui aurait été mis à sec, permettant la construction (ou le dévoilement ?) de bâtiments, structures de guingois et autres voies ferrées. De drôles de bestioles apparaissent toutefois de-ci de-là, et il se pourrait que certains individus louches continuent à œuvrer dans l’ombre.

Pas de surprise sur la direction générale prise par le gameplay, on est ici dans du très classique du point’n’click : trouver des objets qui permettront d’interagir avec l’environnement afin de tracer son chemin. C’est dans sa direction artistique que se trouve le sel de Slice of Sea, et les détails apportés qui donnent une présence particulière à cet univers très texturé. En espérant que la progression soit fluide, ce qu’invite à penser sa description qui le qualifie de « paisible », au moins assez pour que les débutants du genre (totalement moi, au contraire du vétéran Murray) s’y retrouvent, et on effleurera ses mystères avec intérêt.

Slice of Sea est disponible sur PC depuis le 14 novembre 2021.


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