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Sea Of Solitude

A beautiful and emotional rumination on loneliness and depression

Steve Boxer

So, it turns out that EA isn’t just about games-as-a-service, loot boxes and cynicism, after all that has been said to that effect in recent times. Its burgeoning EA Originals label – a repository for quirky indie-developed games – has produced a string of arty, original, charming and thought-provoking games, many of which could be held up as shining examples of what videogames should be all about. That’s especially true in the case of Sea Of Solitude.

Created by Jo-Mei, Sea Of Solitude is the archetypal labour of love. The studio started out making a string of free-to-play browser games, which proved lucrative but unfulfilling, before pouring all of its resources into Sea Of Solitude. For Jo-Mei CEO Cornelia Geppert and her tiny team, it’s clearly an intensely personal project.

In Sea Of Solitude, you play as Kay, a young 20-something who has been transformed into a monster – her body is black and feathered, her eyes red and she wears an orange rucksack, symbolising the considerable mental baggage she lugs around.

The action starts with Kay in a boat, adrift in a flooded world in which only the tops of buildings protrude from the water. She doesn’t know where she is, or what caused the flood; nor are there any humans to interact with. Thus Sea Of Solitude introduces its overriding theme: loneliness, and how it can turn people into monsters.

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September 2019

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