Why Am I Dead At Sea is an adventure game where you solve the mystery of your own murder. As a ghost, you will have to possess people and use them to investigate your surroundings. But in this place no one is who they seem...and everyone has a secret.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (72 reviews) - 93% of the 72 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 11, 2015

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Recent updates View all (4)

April 17

Version 1.2

Why Am I Dead At Sea has just updated with another patch to deal with some smaller issues of the game. Admittedly this isn't a huge update, but I hope for it to be the first of several in the near future.

Version 1.2 Changes
  • Collision has been reworked, adding smooth movement when walking into corner tiles. No more getting snagged on one pixel of a wall!

  • With the aforementioned collision rework, the collision bugs introduced in 1.1 are gone.

  • A couple of small visual issues have been fixed - for example, while Xu is following you and cannot be interacted with, a speech bubble does not appear.

  • Some typos have been fixed


    Thank you everyone for playing!

10 comments Read more

Reviews

“Why Am I Dead At Sea is certainly worth playing for the incredible atmosphere and compelling characters.”
Gamerant

“I highly recommend this game to any fan of the genre, as well as those who enjoy being immersed in suspenseful, superbly-written narratives.”
True PC Gaming

“I’m not sure how else to say it, so I’ll put it bluntly; I loved this game in just about every way possible.”
Pixel Flash Back

About This Game

You are on a boat at sea.

Also, you are dead.

To figure out why, you will need to inhabit the other residents of the ship and use them to investigate what led to your untimely demise. As a ghost, you can take control of characters in the game, and talk to others - based on who you are controlling and who you are talking to, there is a unique conversation. With each combination of characters leading to a different interaction based on their relationship or chemistry, your challenge is to find the interactions that will reveal pertinent information. Understand what makes your shipmates tick, and uncover the secrets that they hold.

  • Investigate an intricate mystery where few are who they seem and everyone has a secret.
  • Meet nine unique and developed characters, with their own personal fears and ambitions.
  • Use your ghost powers to possess bodies and read minds.
  • Recover your former identity to upgrade your ghastly powers.
  • Unlock multiple endings and decide the fate of the story.

The game also features an amazing soundtrack by Bill Kiley.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 1.5 Ghz, single core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    Minimum:
    • OS: v 10.6 or later
    • Processor: 1.5 Ghz, single core
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 150 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (72 reviews)
Recently Posted
Faudraline
( 10.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 10
“But what I mean is, lots of time you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Why Am I Dead At Sea is an underrated gem created by Peltast Software just a year ago. Aside being an incredibly well weaved murder/mystery, it is a unique game that presents the rare opportunity of taking a glimpse on the human nature and the perpetual failure to communicate with one another, keeping unintended secrets while failing to hide things that they intended to hide to begin with. Through associations of the language and the mind, we are to investigate a horrifying affair. You should remember that you can only discover what people do care about the most by taking note on what they do not care about.

Our story starts with a brutal murder; a soul is snatched away from its mortal body before its time. We start as the fragment of this soul, as a piece rendered out of personality due to shock and we remember not a thing about our former mortal identity. Who were we? What happened? Who killed us? With all these ominous questions at mind, we awaken. A young boy medium seemingly managed to help us manifest at the last minute, thus our scarred consciousness has taken form in the cruise ship he's been travelling in as a ghost. We are to wander around, listen to passengers and the crew, and influence their actions by possessing them in hopes of revealing the vile businesses going on in this ship to reach some kind of closure.

The game manages to present a unique atmosphere with a limited environment. We are in an old cruise ship with 3 floors: the residential floor for passengers, the residential floor for the crew and the deck, alongside utilities and recreational areas. Graphics-wise, it's nothing exceptional, but these limited areas are well used in both in display and story purposes, harboring countless unique details that you may investigate and discover. All characters have their own background music, dominating the game according to your interactions with them - and with your ability of taking a glimpse to their minds, you'll gather uneasy clues about their goals and pasts.

We are given unique gameplay dynamics and a well written story. All characters involved has complicated personalities, various conflicting motives and secrets to keep depending on their situations. With all parameters involved, Why Am I Dead At Sea may be interpreted as an Agatha Christie novel with supernatural undertone. You are welcome to possess people if you are to grasp a basic understanding about their personalities and motives only - and still then you can only present subconscious suggestions to manipulate their actions. They cannot talk about a subject they have no idea about to begin with! For the full control of people, you should first reveal the fundamental drive that each of them possess. Only then, you can completely control their actions and speak through their mouths. Each character has a unique ability that could become useful in your investigation, including your ghost self. By revealing details of your own past and personality, you are to gradually gather your former self and memories, presenting grander abilities with stronger manifestations. As the story progresses, you'll find yourself in a web of intrigue, lies and misconceptions.

This whole experience takes 5 chapters to wrap up - 4 investigation chapters and one conclusion chapter - and contains 5 different endings according to your ability to conclude the interrelation of all happenings during the last chapter, presenting you genuine replayability. All said and done, Why Am I Dead At Sea is a noteworthy experience and a thrilling story with more than decent narrative and personality depictions. Enjoy!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
bireland2014
( 6.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
A pretty good whodunnit game, it doesn't have the greatest plot ever and the game is very simple and not too difficult or long but the characters are pretty well written, I think it is good enough to justify the price but I wouldn't say it is an absolute must play so if you are a bit reluctant about buying it, then wait for a sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
frrrt
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
Honestly, I wasn't sure if I would like this game. From previews, it looks like any other ordinary RPG, and let's face it: I'm a bit tired of fanmade post Yume-Nikki fight-to-the-death-for-the-spookiest-plot-twist games. The story is engaging, the characters are well-written with interestingly realistic backstories, and everytime you think you're on the right path, you find out you're not. It's incredibly challenging at times, which can sometimes be distressing for the gamer playing it for the story. But nonetheless, It's no doubt a beautiful and unique game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
I AM BORED
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 26
I really enjoyed the story elements of the game and I also really enjoyed the story telling element of possesing people and figuring out who would tell more of the story to whom. I disliked that the game play was rather tedious and involved walking around in circles in the same area. Although I really love the aura of mystery that this game has from the second you open it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dreoid
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 23
I have tried to get through the first part of the game twice now. The game refuses to save once I have taken over the first guy after the cat, and once I have checked every character in a locked room, nothing happens. There are locked doors that presumably have characters behind them (Donovan, etc) but I can't visit them and progression stops. When I use the first guy's special power, it bugs him out too, such that he either a) leaves his headphones on and moves without walking, or b) he takes his headphones off once I use the cat to talk to him, but still no longer uses a walk animation. He just floats around. And again the story is at a dead halt and nothing happens, and I can't even save to quit and try to unbug it.

Very disappointing to spend 90 minutes playing a game everyone is raving about only to find it's essentially unplayable.

Windows 7 64-bit.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
(re)Grets
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: April 18
Truly one of the best games I've ever played, to be honest. The story line is really well written, pixel art looks absolutely fabulous, soundtrack is over the top, and the murder mystery element stays there until the very end. Really fascinating to see how every character is so multidimensional and how one's opinion of them can change throughout the game. So yeah, in conclusion, absolutely top notch game, definitely would recommend to everybody as it has so many cool details and keeps your interest up till the very end.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Allend
( 2.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 9
Nice game, but lots of game-breaking bugs =/ During my playthrough, a character got stuck at the stairs and i lost all my progress. It seems the same thing has happened to other players.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Bear
( 8.3 hrs on record )
Posted: March 28
For me this game was easily one of the best games I have played through so far and the first game I have felt passionate enough about to write a review for. (I also think I annoyed everybody I live with by discussing where I was in the plot and my suspect pool during Dinner...)

Aside from it's quirky pixel artwork style and chiptune soundtrack; I loved how you were able to travel as a "ghost" orb around the ship and over time became whole again. It made me feel that someone had put a lot of thought into how to show progression in the story in terms of finding out who you were. The Characters are charming, interesting to learn about and I liked how deeply personal the Characters would become the further you progressed into the game.

The game will keep you guessing who dunnit until the very end. Several times, I was so sure I had figured it out, only to be talking to another passenger and go "Wait, that contradicts what so-so said" or "WHAT. No. Are they implying what I think they are?"

It's not a scary game as such, but some of the dialogue does catch you off guard and creates a sense of dread and eeriness to the gameplay. Some of the evidence/clues you find in game, don't appear to mean anything early on, but at the end it all clicks into place and shows you exactly what is implied. One noteable example of this is at the very end of the game, where their "ambiguous job" becomes clear. All through the game I thought nothing of it, until the end when I finally realised what it meant. Ugh...how could they boil it down to that like it was nothing? Ugh...

For me it's a little bit difficult to heavily criticise the game but I did find one thing that i'd put as a con: If a Character is standing in the path/blocking a door, you can't just move past them unless you are the "ghost". I found that a tad annoying that I had to wait for them to move, or posess them to move them. When I did this, sometimes the person I needed would run back to another floor and I had to chase after them to get them back!

Overall, I'd definitely reccomend this if you want both a deep meaningful story and thought provoking mystery game with a slight twist.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Clever Button
( 7.2 hrs on record )
Posted: March 26
Best game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
GangliaGhost
( 48.5 hrs on record )
Posted: March 24
The main mechanic is really cool. It's got a decent plot, great characters, and a solid soundtrack. I had a lot of fun playing it and getting all the endings. Probably a favorite, despite being short.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
77 of 85 people (91%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2015
Not only looks as EarthBound, it’s so magical and memorable as EarthBound. And the most accomplished narrative experiment seen since The Stanley Parable. An unforgettable experience about the necessity of communicating with others to overcome our traumas

We currently live immersed in the most creative an eclectic single period in videogame history thanks to the current indie scene. Not only as a consequence of the creation of new game concepts, but also to the revision of genres of the past adding new innovative elements. It’s amazing to think that only in the JRPG influenced genre using 16 bits aesthetics, we have seen in a year interval 5 of the all-time greatest classics in the form of Lisa, Always Sometimes Monsters, Undertale, Hylics and Why Am I Dead At Sea. With each one being a different deviation of the classic structure putting a lot of new ideas to the table. While they maintain some recognizable premises and mechanics to appeal to the players most beloved memories, using the nostalgia as a tool to generate vivid emotions. And most importantly, each of these 5 masterpieces can equal and even surpass the original referenced titles. If we look at the past, we can see that not even in the most creative and fertile period for JRGP games in the mid-90s, we could find a single year with such a sum of instant classics.

But between all these masterpieces, Lisa, Undertale, Hylics and Always Sometimes Monsters, I think that Why Am I Dead At Sea is a leap forward from the rest. Because it is not only a brilliant and almost perfect JRPG influenced classic with a plethora of charisma in which every second is an immense pleasure, full of magic and unforgettable moments. It’s also a great achievement in its use of an interactive narrative element to create strong emotional ties between characters. With each one being infused with his own and complex psychological behavior. That can evolve based in the affective interactions created with other persons as part of life.

And with one of the most mature writings seen in a videogame. Introducing a lot of complex subjects like suicidal motivations, illness, unrequited love, consumerism, third world poverty, psychological reasoning beneath violence, youthful frustrated dreams, lack of communication, isolation, false appearances and the existence of two personalities living inside every single person, the one that he shows to the rest of the world and how he perceives himself. And all of this without forgetting its videogame nature, emphasizing the fun factor with the use of fantastical elements and a lot of winks destined to drawing a joyful smile in our faces.

Its playable mechanic is based on the idea of being the floating spirit of a dead person that needs to reconstruct his memories. So he/she needs to posses the body of the rest of characters in the game to gathering information. This idea on paper looks simple, but has an infinite number of variations and complex sub-mechanics. There is two types of possessions. With one of them, we incarnate the role of the other person, seeing the world from his eyes perspective. And with the second possession, we supplant his body, acting based on our own conscience that is molded by the clues found in the form of saved memories. And finally, we have a mental skill that permits us to trespass the subconscious of a character without taking his body. This mental plane is expressed in the form of a psychedelic alternate reality.

Based in the person or role that we incarnate, every single character in the game will react in a different manner and the subjects of conversation will change. Also, each possessed character has his own special ability. While we incarnate the role of a female writer, we can push a button during a conversation to analyze the psychological motivations of the other character. With a thief, we can see the objects that the other character carries in his pockets. And the special ability of a depressive person is to ingest antidepressant pills, seeing a distorted reality for some seconds.

In order to be able to possess another person, we need to previously reach a spiritual connection with him. Learning about his feelings, hopes and inner fears. And about his world envision and philosophy of life. To could reach this short of spiritual connection with a character in the game, we are obligated to interact with him using the rest of bodies and personalities until he opens his heart.

Why Am I Dead At Sea is a piece of interactive fiction that primarily talks about the healing effects of communicating with others as the only manner to overcome our traumas. Under the assumption that no man is a desert island.

This accomplished use of narrative comes accompanied by an evocative graphic design inspired in Earthbound. An by a captivating soundtrack composed by Bill Kiley, that with a single game has put his name close to some of the most iconic musicians in gaming history, evoking Yasunori Mitsuda or Jake Kaufman most iconic works.

If you are one of these people obsessed with numbers, I can say that Why Am I Dead At Sea is a perfect 10/10. And my most firm candidate to the Best Game of 2015.

( The writer of this review is not an English native. So you should expect occasional grammar errors. I apologize in advance. )
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
44 of 44 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 10
“But what I mean is, lots of time you don't know what interests you most till you start talking about something that doesn't interest you most.” ― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Why Am I Dead At Sea is an underrated gem created by Peltast Software just a year ago. Aside being an incredibly well weaved murder/mystery, it is a unique game that presents the rare opportunity of taking a glimpse on the human nature and the perpetual failure to communicate with one another, keeping unintended secrets while failing to hide things that they intended to hide to begin with. Through associations of the language and the mind, we are to investigate a horrifying affair. You should remember that you can only discover what people do care about the most by taking note on what they do not care about.

Our story starts with a brutal murder; a soul is snatched away from its mortal body before its time. We start as the fragment of this soul, as a piece rendered out of personality due to shock and we remember not a thing about our former mortal identity. Who were we? What happened? Who killed us? With all these ominous questions at mind, we awaken. A young boy medium seemingly managed to help us manifest at the last minute, thus our scarred consciousness has taken form in the cruise ship he's been travelling in as a ghost. We are to wander around, listen to passengers and the crew, and influence their actions by possessing them in hopes of revealing the vile businesses going on in this ship to reach some kind of closure.

The game manages to present a unique atmosphere with a limited environment. We are in an old cruise ship with 3 floors: the residential floor for passengers, the residential floor for the crew and the deck, alongside utilities and recreational areas. Graphics-wise, it's nothing exceptional, but these limited areas are well used in both in display and story purposes, harboring countless unique details that you may investigate and discover. All characters have their own background music, dominating the game according to your interactions with them - and with your ability of taking a glimpse to their minds, you'll gather uneasy clues about their goals and pasts.

We are given unique gameplay dynamics and a well written story. All characters involved has complicated personalities, various conflicting motives and secrets to keep depending on their situations. With all parameters involved, Why Am I Dead At Sea may be interpreted as an Agatha Christie novel with supernatural undertone. You are welcome to possess people if you are to grasp a basic understanding about their personalities and motives only - and still then you can only present subconscious suggestions to manipulate their actions. They cannot talk about a subject they have no idea about to begin with! For the full control of people, you should first reveal the fundamental drive that each of them possess. Only then, you can completely control their actions and speak through their mouths. Each character has a unique ability that could become useful in your investigation, including your ghost self. By revealing details of your own past and personality, you are to gradually gather your former self and memories, presenting grander abilities with stronger manifestations. As the story progresses, you'll find yourself in a web of intrigue, lies and misconceptions.

This whole experience takes 5 chapters to wrap up - 4 investigation chapters and one conclusion chapter - and contains 5 different endings according to your ability to conclude the interrelation of all happenings during the last chapter, presenting you genuine replayability. All said and done, Why Am I Dead At Sea is a noteworthy experience and a thrilling story with more than decent narrative and personality depictions. Enjoy!

Please also check out Lady Storyteller's Curator page here - follow for regular updates on reviews for other games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
14 of 15 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Why am I dead at Sea is a great example for the narrative advantage computer games can have over other medias like books or movies. Before I start let's state the obvious. Why am I dead at Sea is less of a classical game and heavily story focused. But it is a story supported nearly perfectly by its gameplay mechanics. Most time you will read text. If I had to label the game I would probably call it an adventure. Not the ones where you search and combine items but where you acquire and combine information. It is a story about people on a ship.

The game starts rather unpleasant for the protagonist. He is dead, he doesn't know who he is and he can't remember anything else as well. Why? Most of those questions will be answered over the course of the game. As a ghost you have different abilities, some which you will gain only later on. At the beginning you can read the mind of the people on board. Not word for word but as an overall impression. Later, with learning more about the people on board you will be able to control them, first partially and some completely. This is interesting as a gameplay element because as player you know more than the people you control and you can't ask the right questions because your current character doesn't know what you need. But if you control them completely those characters gain this knowledge for the time. There is for example a brilliant scene where you look up a "locked" place with one of the characters and then confront the same character with another one although he could actually never obtain this information. You also have to regard the relation between the different characters because they are not willing to tell/ask everyone everything. And with the game going on you will learn more and more about the tragic to happen and the people on board.

The game is divided in different chapters. To complete each chapter there is a certain amount of information needed to be found. But there can be found more than that (especially in the last chapter) which may lead to a different ending.

I was pleasantly surprised by Why am I dead at Sea and as such it is the first game I recommand which I have not completed to 100 % at the point of recommandation. I wouldn't call it actually "fun" to play but interesting. It is not the most epic story ever but is surprising at points and the way the gameplay is used to unfold the story is intriguing. So go and buy the game and support the developers. Do not let the game become bundled -_-

PS: If you have any question just ask. I will try to answer them as fast as possible.
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12 of 12 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 12
I gave "Why Am I Dead At Sea" every opportunity to disappoint me. The character sprites felt derivative of a certain console RPG franchise depicted in my profile pic; the chiptune soundtrack suggested a by-the-numbers approach to game design. I am relieved to report that these initial doubts fell by the wayside after only a little play, and surface concerns of this sort disappeared once I submerged myself in the mystery.

The central conceit is that you're the spirit of someone recently killed, and you can inhabit the bodies of people you know to access their abilities and research the circumstances of your death. If you learn enough about your host, you can take full control, doing things that they wouldn't normally or discussing subjects of which they know nothing. This didn't seem very original in my initial (uncharitable) assessment—Double Fine's "Stacking" treads similar ground. However: "Stacking" is a high-concept artpiece puzzler that I couldn't bring myself to finish. "Why Am I Dead At Sea" is a thriller. It has suspense. It has characters that appear to inhabit straightforward archetypes—and then it challenges you to figure out whether those characters have contradictory depths, or complementary depths, or no depth whatsoever.

I played through it twice in eight hours.

Highly recommended.
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12 of 16 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
+ Great storytelling
+ Unique characters
+ Earthbound graphics
+ Great soundtrack
+ Multiple Endings

- Special abilities are hit and miss
- Some parts are very tough

Check out the full review at: http://pixelflashback.com/posts/indie-review-why-am-i-dead-at-sea/
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2015
- I like how there was a deeper meaning to each character. The whole aspect of getting to know them before possessing them was really interesting.

- Chatting could be a little tedious at some points, but it's not that big of a deal.

- The ambience art was really creative; like when you talked with Paulo, travelled as a spirit, or read minds.

- Basically, play this if you like good mysteries and "rpg maker" games!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 18, 2015
Disclosure: The developer reached out to me to take a look at the game, so this key was obtained from the developer. Keep that in mind for the review in question.

Why am I Dead At Sea hits the points it needs to for the genre, as the narrative and interesting characters set a decent backdrop for this murder mystery. Attempting to figure out how you died and taking control of people via possession is a fun mechanic, and there are little touches that really help the game out like characters having their own music, and their own abilities. This does have the old school adventure game logic however: you will get frustrated wondering what is going on and will run around trying to figure out what you missed. And certain bugs can pop up that can halt all progress, which is a problem. But even with that said, it's a great narriative that will help those gamers lookinjgj for a mystery experience.

+:
  • Great narrative and a good set of writing here. Gives you reasons to get into the plot in question and makes you really want to see what happens next.
  • Character variety is strong and keeps the mystery going, even when a character or two is eliminated as a possible suspect. Backstories help connect you to these characters on an emotional level.
  • Music is appropriate for every character, and really helps bring their mood and emotional state to life.
  • Good visuals, and change of scenery when it happens. It's not a big game, but something has changed (in particular the outside), it works rather well.
  • Gets the mystery portion of the game down without reaching to do it. Doesn't force the element, which is critical in a good mystery plot.
-:
  • Trial and Error gameplay logic. Keep a notepad with you to write down what you did and didn't do. A couple of tools could have been used to help this in terms of not repeating actions you've done already.
  • Some bugs seemingly (this is not CONFIRMED on my side) stop progress entirely.
  • Some characters lack of personality change with unveiling of certain items hurts overall connection to characters.
  • Wish the mind reading mechanic had a tiny bit more use to it. Was fun, but ultimately didn't do much overall.

For First Impressions and Gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g27FrJ0yhH8
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24 of 40 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Pre-Release Review
Posted: May 11, 2015
Check out my video review/preview here (Very minor spoilers showing the intro included, nothing major!)

https://youtu.be/Ogda2u2F8ME

So, I've been following this game ever since I saw the trailer; something about the Earthbound inspired environments really caught my eye. It's not a clone by any means; Earthbound was a true turn-based RPG while this is a more puzzle-y narrative-driven adventure with a supernatural twist.

The good:
-Great pixel graphics and environments
-Great character work; each person has a different personality, motives, secrets and strengths
-These differences are more interesting when you possess them in order to find out what happened to you
-Diving into people's minds was executed very well
-I really got invested in wanting to find out what makes these people tick and what happened to me
-The music in the game is fun and true to their retro roots
-Tons of unique dialogue to trigger depending on who you are
-Great throwbacks to Earthbound

Cons:
-Not a wide variety of music to hear; can get a little repetitive as you walk around
-Some of the puzzles are difficult to figure out (Who needs to do what and where? Etc.) which leads to some extra wandering around
-Can be difficult to tell who is talking when you are learning who is who; dialogue boxes could have been positioned more over the person talking instead of centered on the screen
-Which there was more interactivity with mind-reading (A mini-game to learn secrets would have been cool, or literally explore their mind (Like Alundra on PSX?) and unlock secrets that way.)


Disclosure: I was provided a complimentary advanced copy by the developer for review purposes and I was not compensated any other way. All opinions are my own.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
Why Am I Dead at Sea is an adventure mystery game, wherein you play the role of a ghost who has no recollection of who they are, how they died, or why they were killed. Throughout the game, you are set upon the task of finding out the answer to each of these enigmas, and in doing so you will also learn much about the passengers and crew aboard the ship. I've been waiting almost a year to finally play this title, so needless to say I was hoping that I wouldn't be disappointed; I definitely got a lot more than I expected out of this experience.

The game plays out like an incredibly gripping novel, and at any point it's overwhelmingly difficult to put it dow for even the briefest moment. You will want to continue playing through until the end, so that you can unravel the questions that were roused from the beginning. You will initially start off by getting to casually know the people aboard the vessel, but as you progress throughout the four chapters you will get to know their most intimate details and innermost thoughts. The character building, and the relationships that are formed between them, are key points to the success of Why Am I Dead at Sea; many of the details that you will learn later on in the game, and especially what lies in wait at the end, will have many players on the Feels train, headed full speed towards Feelsville.

So as you may be able to determine, the title relies heavily on dialogue. That being said, the actual gameplay is minimal; as a ghost, you are able to possess the other people on the ship, as well as use their unique special abilities. These special abilities range from extremely beneficial, such as Donnovan who can highlight interactive objects, to utterly useless, like Darryl who can walk faster but at the disadvantage of having the screen become disoriented. Needless to say, you probably will not utilize of most of these special abilities, despite possessing the characters multiple times. To fully understand the story, and to uncover your "true" self as the ghost, you will talk to everyone around the ship at least once on every chapter, and at some point you will also be tasked to investigate every room aboard the liner. These are not incredibly daunting or time consuming tasks, as the boat only has three floors and ten passengers.

Once you get to know a character completely, you are then free to fully possess them; doing so enables new dialogue options to appear at certain stages of the game. Once you reach the end of the fourth and final chapter, you then proceed on to unlock an array of different endings. While the endings are somewhat diversified, there is in fact one true ending in the mix; however, you are still left to piece together, yourself, many of the riddles that the game presents. This is a nice change of pace, versus games that feel the need to explain their outcome in excruciating detail; it also leaves an air of mystery to the title, and one that is open to interpretation.

As a final note, I will say that the soundtrack by Bill Kiley is an absolute masterpiece. I never found myself getting tired of the amazing retro, Sega Genesis styled bytes that were infiltrating my ears; from the downright creepy, to the dubstep influenced, to the upbeat. The only gripe that I do have is that each letter of dialogue makes a sound, and it overtakes the background tracks. These sounds, however, can be easily bypassed by pressing the action key; although it would be nice to have the option to turn it off completely. It's also worth noting that if you enjoy retro soundtracks, the one for this game can be downloaded for free, or pay what you want, at Bill's Bandcamp page.

Why Am I Dead at Sea is one of the best mystery games on Steam at this point, and it's unfortunate that it's severely underrated and often bypassed. As of now, this will be the 55th review for this game. The depth of the characters is really where this game shines, without that element, Why Am I Dead at Sea would not be the diamond in the rough that it is. The only way that the experience could've been improved was if the ship was a little larger, and the story a little longer. With talking to everyone, obtaining all of the endings, and earning all of the achievements, I clocked in at a little under 5 hours. Despite the compelling story, I have a hard time recommending this title at the price of $10.99 CAD due to its short length; which is why I waited for a 50% off sale, which for this game is especially rare. If you can get it on sale, grab it without a second thought. Otherwise, it's up to your discretion on whether you want to wait. Either way, Why Am I Dead at Sea is a must play in my books.

Rating: 4.0/5.0 - Excellent, highly worth playing.
Belphegore's Hell House Reviews (Group)
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 12, 2015
Amazing! The mystery is engrossing and the puzzle aspect is "what to do where, who to talk with who" which makes it unique. It is HARD, so warning! But it is COMPLETELY worth the struggling through. This game is for true strategy/mystery game lovers, NOT for the casual gamer. So if you are up to a challenge and a good story, check this game out!
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