Review – Call of the Sea VR

Call of the Sea VR Cover Image

I first reviewed Call of the Sea back when it released in 2020, and I absolutely loved it. It was a captivating journey from start to finish, largely thanks to its blending of first-person exploration and puzzles, set within a Lovecraftian mystery. When I heard it was being adapted into a VR version, Call of the Sea VR, I couldn’t have been more excited. Exploring the strange island off the coast of the South Pacific was already enthralling on PC and consoles, but now I could explore it in an even more immersive manner? Needless to say, this was one call I had to answer.

Call of the Sea VR Mechanical Bridge Puzzle

Be prepared for plenty of simple mechanical-based puzzles, set against a gorgeous backdrop of an ancient civilization.

Seeing as how I’ve already reviewed the original version of Call of the Sea, and gone into detail about the game’s plot and tone, for this review I’ll be focusing on the gameplay and overall experience of the VR version.

As I’ve already mentioned, Call of the Sea VR is a first-person game, which relies heavily on exploration, similar to Myst VR. Honestly, this is pretty much the ideal game to have as a VR experience. The sense of wonder that comes from seeing the island in such and immersive setting is utterly fantastic. I had the biggest smile on my face just seeing the opening title card as our protagonist, Norah, rows her small boat up to the lush island. Playing this game in VR also greatly adds to the sheer scale and scope of the island’s ancient ruins. It truly feels like being amidst the remains of an ancient civilization, long since past.

Stone Symbol Puzzle

Scouring for clues to solve the stone symbol puzzle.

Call of the Sea VR is filled with puzzles to solve in order to access certain parts of the island and progress the story. One of my favorite aspects of the game is how natural the puzzles feel within the context of the story. They actually seem like they truly belong on the island, as a means to keep outsiders from entering where they don’t belong. However, that doesn’t stop our plucky and clever Norah from figuring out the solutions to them. The puzzles are fairly easy to figure out, most of the time anyway, but that’s not necessarily a negative on the game’s part. Each puzzle adds to the mystery of the island, and reveals a little more about the bizarre race of beings that inhabited it so long ago.

Call of the Sea VR Well Puzzle

Eye see you.

The controls are are pretty solid in Call of the Sea VR. I’ve heard that some people had issues with trying to pick up items that have fallen to the ground, but I myself never experienced this issue. I tried out both standing and seated modes, and both functioned equally as well as the other, so really it’s up to whichever setting you’re most comfortable with. Knowing I was going to be putting in some solid blocks of time with Call of the Sea VR, I went with seated mode for the majority of my playthrough. 

Standard accessibility options are present as well, including the aforementioned standing/seated modes. You can invert the controls if you prefer, add subtitles, move and control the camera with the joysticks, or use your head movement if you prefer. You can also have free movement, where you glide along in whichever direction you move, you can enable teleportation mode to point to select an area and immediately move to it, or you can have snap directional movement, meaning the camera will flick incrementally in whichever direction you choose.

Crazed Rambling Document

He seems fine.

The comfort of each setting is largely dependent on your own personal preferences, as everyone handles VR differently. Personally, the fluid movement worked best for me, as the snap movements hurt my eyes to constantly have to refocus on my surroundings, but I’m aware I’m in the minority on this one. Most people prefer the snap movements or teleportation to combat motion sickness, so once again, adjust the controls to make it as pleasant as possible. It would be a shame to miss out on the wonderful experience Call of the Sea VR provides, due to feeling nauseous.

Even though Call of the Sea VR is an amazing VR port, it’s still worth mentioning that the visuals do suffer a bit from the original version, no doubt due to the limitations of the Meta Quest 2’s hardware. For example, the writing on the numerous letters you’ll find can be quite blurry. Also, the edges of trees, buildings, and structures can have jagged edges. Still, being immersed within the lush tropical island with its stone ruins is so entrancing that you likely won’t care. I certainly didn’t. The sound design, while mostly the same as in the original version, performs even better in Call of the Sea VR, thanks to the surround sound of the Meta Quest 2’s speakers. As you can imagine, this also helps a great deal in making you feel like you’re actually there.

Call of the Sea VR Huts

Not gonna lie, I could probably live here, eldritch threats and all.

There have been several VR ports for games originally released on PC or consoles, but the ones that are successful are few and far between. Thankfully, Call of the Sea VR falls into the successful category. Despite some flaws, mainly with its visuals due to the limited hardware, Call of the Sea VR is an incredible addition to the VR gaming library. It’s an amazingly immersive experience that’s a must play for fans of VR and adventure/puzzles games in general. When it beckons, will you answer the call?


Graphics: 7.0

While there is a noticeable jaggedness to the edges of trees, building, and structures, the sheer scope and beauty of the island will make your jaw drop.

Gameplay: 7.0

The controls handle well, regardless of whether you’re playing in seated or standing mode. The are quite a few accessibility options to make the experience more comfortable to play, such as teleportation or free movement.

Sound: 9.0

Everything, from the fantastic voice acting, to the ambient sounds, to the subtly atmospheric soundtrack, is fantastic.

Fun Factor: 7.0

The original version of Call of the Sea was already a delightful adventure, but the immersion of Call of the Sea VR takes the game to a whole other level. This game was made to be experienced in VR.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Call of the Sea VR is available now on Meta Quest 2.

Reviewed on Meta Quest 2.

A copy of Call of the Sea VR was provided by the publisher.