Both Mike Szoke and I were invited to review Becalm. It is a short 5 minute experience where the player is sat in sail boats. The following is Mike’s impressions from it with mine following. I will combine both of our scores for the final score on the review.
Becalm is a five minute, free to play adventure that was developed by Colorfiction. It’s set to release on January 17th, 2019.
The game, while barely a game, is a very relaxing experience. The game is set in a boat, and every time it is loaded, you’ll be sent on one of the game’s few different journeys. At the end of the five minutes, the game closes itself.
What to do
All you can do in the game is look around. You have the ability to look anywhere from your perch in the boat. And the visuals are rather stunning. Very nice watercolor art makes up the various environments that you’ll encounter. The artstyle adds to the relaxing atmosphere that the game aims to create.
There is also soothing music that accompanies the voyage, and realistic noises caused by wildlife. These two factors when paired together add an extra layer of depth to the atmosphere that the game aims to create.
All in all, the game accomplishes what it sets out to do very well. It isn’t meant to be a thrilling game, but a relaxing time for those who use it. This game would be perfect for a VR experience, but this works as well. If you have five minutes to spare, I’d suggest downloading this game if you’re prone to getting stressed. It’s free for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
Pros: relaxing, short, free, good art
Cons: no substance, barely a game, little reason to play
Mike’s Score: 2/10
When I was first offered to review this game, I asked if it was even worth reviewing. In all honesty, it isn’t, but for what the developers were aiming for, they hit it. All they wanted was a short, relaxing experience. In the end, it’s a free game that is 5 minutes long. Do not expect anything to stick around with you.
The world of Becalm is filled with many colors. As Mike mentioned, every time the game is started, you are randomly thrown on one of the three sailing voyages the game contains. While trying to see all three, I had to back out and restart the game about 10 times before I finally got to see all three so that was really annoying. A menu where you can choose which one you want to go on would be ideal. While sailing through a forest is nice the first time, I do not want to see that every single time when I open the game.
The game kind of looks like a painting that is moving around you. While this looks cool, things clip through the environment often. The plants sticking out of the water go through the boat on the forest scene, and the opening seconds of the island scene have the sand of the island and the water interacting with each other in a way that does not make sense.
The only input from the player is moving the camera to look all around you to see the world you are in. After 10 seconds though you have seen all each of the “campaigns” have to offer you.
The sounds of the game are largely the same kind of ambient sounds that you would fine by searching “relaxing music” on YouTube. This is nice and relaxing, and at certain points other sounds are included like the water trickling beside you and the wind flowing through the leaves of the tree surrounding you and more. I love listening to relaxing things like this when trying to go to bed. I have a sound machine that every night I switch between playing rain and a running stream, so I love this, but in Becalm it automatically shuts itself off after 5 minutes so you are instantly taken out of the experience after so long.
Becalm is a 5-minute experience that honestly does not need reviewing. It is a free “game” that shuts itself off after the time limit. If you want a very short, relaxing escape download it. If you want something to calm you down while you work or relax, look up a video on YouTube.
John’s score: 3/10
- THE GOOD
- Relaxing music
- Painting-like visual
- THE BAD
- Environment clips through each other
- Kicks you out after 5 minutes
- Empty experience
Becalm is a short experience that does exactly what it wants to do, but in the end feels like a waste of 5 minutes after it takes you out of the game if you wanted to relax longer.