Karin is a young girl that was bored at her Christmas party. On that night, during her party, she heard not a cry, but a whisper of help coming from deep within the nearby sea. Fueled by her boredom, Karin decided to dive into the sea and follow that voice inside a sunken shipwreck. Can she manage to find the source of that voice without losing her life in these watery ruins?
This game combines Sokoban-inspired, grid-based gameplay with turn-based action and Fox Eye's recognizable Under the Sea setpieces and storytelling. The turn-based mechanics affect several things throughout the game, such as gauging Karin's Oxygen Meter, and the time before a bomb explodes. This game is also one of the few Fox Eye games with Multiple Endings, each showing how Karin manages her escape from the shipwreck.
This game was originally only a downloadable Christmas Eve event game in 2016 before the game subsequently vanished on the following Christmas Day. In 2019, it came back as one of the five games included in the Fox Eye Limited Game Collection. Its updates include improved artwork and a translated English version. The Japanese and English version of this collection can be purchased at DLsite.
Following the original temporary 2016 release of this game, Karin would later on reappear as a protagonist of a completely different game with the 2017 release of the Lighter and Softer but Hotter and Sexier Fox Eye ABYSS game Karin's Skin Diving Diary!
At Night in a Party: The Whisper of the Sea provides examples of:
- Art Evolution: All of the cutscene artwork of the game got upgraded when the game was released as a part of the Fox Eye Limited Game Collection in 2019. This brings Karin's look up-to-date with how she would later on appear in Karin's Skin Diving Diary! The original version of the game's art can still be unlocked, however, and Karin maintains her 2016 appearance for her dialogue art during gameplay.
- Author Appeal: Just like Sacrifice Girl, this Fox Eye game takes place pretty much entirely underwater. As such, the high risk of drowning follows Karin everywhere. In fact, every ending that isnt the Golden Ending has Karin lose her life by drowning.
- Block Puzzle: The main genre of the game, directly inspired by Sokoban. Many rooms require Karin to push brown cargo boxes in a certain sequence. There are also mechanical boxes that must be pushed correctly in order to trigger switches that release metal gates, allowing Karin to progress. Be careful, however, as using a turn to push one of those heavy blocks consumes more of Karin's Oxygen Meter than usual. The boxes are also used to manipulate the direction a water current can flow from vents in the ground.
- Foreshadowing: Karin can discover an escape route very early on in the game that represents its ending sequence. With that said, it goes against Karins motive of venturing through the sunken ship to begin with: To find the titular Whisper of the Sea. So why make her leave the shipwreck so soon? Doing this is actually a bad idea. The source of the voice turns out to be a mystical mermaid named Rittie, representing the 3rd and final item of the game by bestowing Karin a much longer Oxygen Meter. If Rittie is not rescued at any point in the game before attempting the escape route, the game ends on a bad note where Karin runs out of air and drowns due to one of three possible setbacks, including one that Rittie wouldve prevented if she was there, as explained in Multiple Endings below.
- Hope Spot: A multi-layered one through the game's Multiple Endings of Karin escaping the shipwreck to swim up to the ocean's surface for air. If she has any less than all 3 special items, she is held back by an oversight that would've been dealt with by her missing item, leaving her to drown upon her failure.
- Metroidvania: Not as pronounced as Holdover, Sacrifice Girl, and BLUE GUARDIAN: Margaret, but there are times where you must discover new items that help you reach new rooms from previous rooms you already ventured through. Using all that you can find is necessary to eventually enter all of the rooms, discover all of the Multiple Endings, and overall achieve 100% Completion in the game.
- Multiple Endings: There are four of them in the game, and all but one of them lead Karin to being Killed Off for Real due to an unforeseen setback from her escaping the sunken shipwreck:
- Bad End: Escaping without any items: Karin needed to find an air pocket soon. She stumbles upon a sealed door. She tries to pry its wooden planks open with her bare hands, but to no avail. The strain from doing this causes her to use up the rest of her oxygen and drown in the ship.
- Bad End: Escaping with the Bomb Case, but without the Water Valve: Karin was losing oxygen and needed to find an air pocket soon. She reaches a sealed door that she blasts open with a bomb, revealing a pipe that looks to reach outside of the wrecked ship that she could use to swim back up to the sea's surface and catch a breath of air. Karin attempts to swim out through the pipe, but is unfortunately pushed back down into the ship by the strong current the pipe had. Ultimately, Karin's escape fails, and she subsequently runs out of air and drowns.
- Bad End: Escaping with the Bomb Case and the Water Valve, but without rescuing the Mermaid: Karin not only manages to use a bomb to blast open the sealed door, but thanks to using the Water Valve, she is also able to swim through the pipe and escape outside of the shipwreck. However, although she escapes, the surface was still a very long swim upwards from there. Despite her best efforts, Karin couldn't hold her breath long enough before reaching the surface, so she ultimately runs out of air and drowns in the open sea.
- Good End: Escaping with all 3 items: Karin blows up the sealed door with bombs, and thanks to using the Water Valve earlier, is able to swim through the pipe that leads out of the shipwreck. Although it was still a long swim to the surface, Karin was able to hold her breath for much longer than usual thanks to first rescuing Rittie, the magic mermaid and the titular Whisper of the Sea that called for Karins help this entire time. They are then both able to return to their respective homes in one piece.
- Our Mermaids Are Different: The titular Whisper of the Sea came from a mermaid named Rittie, as she was was trapped deep inside the shipwreck. If you take the time to pick her up, she triples Karin's Oxygen Meter and ensures that the player receives the Golden Ending by preventing her from drowning when she successfully escapes the sunken ship.
- Oxygen Meter: You can always count on Fox Eye to include this mechanic. This time, it is affected by the game's turn-based gameplay. So as long as Karin stays in place, she'll never consume oxygen. It is otherwise consumed for every step she takes submerged, and she loses a bigger chunk of air if she spends a turn to push heavy objects. Mercifully, besides surfacing at air pockets, her Oxygen Meter is also fully replenished every time she steps into a different room. Rescuing the mermaid that called for her help triples the length Karin can hold her breath.
- Piranha Problem: The shipwreck is also infested with these toothy fish. They all only see in a straight line, but while blue piranhas only move in two opposing directions, the red piranhas can potentially turn at a 90 degree angle upon reaching a wall. If any of them spot Karin in their line of sight, they will immediately lunge over to her and bite her to death. They will also attack Karin if she moves a mechanical block that is within two squares of their path, requiring you to figure out how to replace that mechanical block with a regular one without disturbing the piranhas direct path too closely.
- Point of No Return: After rescuing Rittie the Magic Mermaid, all five of the topmost row of rooms cave in, preventing any further access into them. This is justified due to Rittie representing the last of the three items needed to achieve 100% Completion in the game and view its Golden Ending.
- The Speechless: Rittie is the titular Whisper of the Sea. The most dialogue she is capable of is magically calling out for Karin's help and telling her her name.
- Stuff Blowing Up: There are bombs Karin can pick up that let her clear out any of the wooden walls that aren't along the edges of each room. The bombs take 4 turns to blow up, and eliminate any wooden space within a 1-square distance, as well as killing Karin if you are careless to keep her in its range. Bombs cannot be carried over between rooms, but finding a Bomb Case alleviates this by always ensuring that Karin has one spare bomb every time she enters a different room.
- Temporary Online Content: The game was originally released only on Christmas Eve in 2016 as one of Fox Eye's event games. Over 3 years later, it became more accessible thanks to being a part of the Fox Eye Limited Game Collection.
- Updated Re-release: After being a Christmas Eve event game in 2016, this game makes a comeback as a part of the Fox Eye Limited Game Collection. All of the artwork is updated, and also marks the first time the game was released in English.
- Under the Sea: The game takes place inside of the wreck of a sunken ship.