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Burly Men at Sea is a game about the adventures of three fishermen, the brothers Beard: Brave Beard, Hasty Beard and Steady Beard. One day, they find a map inside a bottle at sea, but it only contains their own island. They return to their village to find out if some of the folks there know more. Eventually an old man reveals the map is there for them to complete with their own adventures, so they set sail and explore.

The game is meant to be played multiple times, each time starting again at the village, as there are different paths and encounters to discover. It is largely played as a visual novel and is described by the developers as "a quiet adventure". The story is told through images and text, with limited interaction by the player. At certain locations the men can be moved around and there are different choices to make, sometimes with small puzzle-solving elements, leading to different, branching paths in the story. Certain characters return with different conversations and story elements based on previous adventures or encounters. There are also many interactive elements in the background that can be clicked for a short animation, but they serve no further purpose.

The men can get eaten by a whale, meet nymphs and mermaids, race Death, experience the hospitality of a living mountain, meet a snake, get locked up, and more. Each completed adventure is represented through a book at the old man's coffee shop, based on four icons on the map, corresponding with four encounters. The combination of encounters that form a single adventure is also summarized through a code that can be entered on the developer's website. The adventure can then be bought as a physical book, based on the four encounters the player chose. It contains 50 full-colour pages and costs $30. The books shipped in January 2017.


Burly Men at Sea Windows Each adventure is stored as a book.
Burly Men at Sea Windows The map with one of the possible adventures
Burly Men at Sea Windows Returning home.
Burly Men at Sea Windows Meeting the old man again.

Promo Images

Burly Men at Sea Screenshot
Burly Men at Sea Screenshot
Burly Men at Sea Screenshot
Burly Men at Sea Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "Burly Men at Sea: 大男的荒海歷險" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "Burly Men at Sea: 壮汉海上漂流记" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Burly Men at Sea: 三人の海の男" -- Japanese spelling
  • "Burly Men at Sea: Sannin no Umi no Otoko" -- Japanese title

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User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

Time Magazine Windows Sep 29, 2016 5 out of 5 100
GamingTrend Nintendo Switch Apr 11, 2018 95 out of 100 95
Nintendo Insider Nintendo Switch Apr 23, 2018 9 out of 10 90
GameZebo Windows Oct 03, 2016 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90 Windows Nov 14, 2016 8 out of 10 80
The Telegraph Windows Oct 18, 2016 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
RPGFan Windows Dec 08, 2016 70 out of 100 70
Nintendo Life Nintendo Switch Apr 17, 2018 7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars7 Stars 70
Cubed3 Nintendo Switch Apr 04, 2018 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 60
NintendoWorldReport Nintendo Switch Apr 11, 2018 6 out of 10 60


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Contributed to by mars_rulez (44027), Kam1Kaz3NL77 (191700), firefang9212 (60057) and Sciere (585407)