|a game by||Pirate Software|
|Editor Rating:||8/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.0/10 - 2 votes|
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Sometimes it feels that overly serious concepts can defeat the purpose of a video game. For many, they are a form of escapism - and creating games that deal with the subjects of depression and anxiety can hinder the idea of getting away from it. However, Heartbound aims to use them to shed light on that exact concept through a playable medium. The game has jumped on the platform of indie games that send messages to players - and further increasing the notion of games as art. While some of them are difficult playthroughs - these games are getting better and better. The themes can be tough pills to swallow, but it's worth a look to see how Heartbound presents them.
Delve into Darkness
As you can imagine, in parallel with Heatbound's themes - the narrative is very dark. The protagonist, named Lore, comes from an abusive household where his dog, Baron, is the only friend he has to help him cope. The story will follow his decaying mental state, with tones and scenes set up for potential tragedy. We'll leave it at that.
Heartbound is narrative-heavy, using the concept as the center point for the game's mechanics. You'll be making choices throughout the game that affect the way it plays and leads to different endings. It has all the elements of a top-down indie role-playing game. Those include puzzle-solving, battles, and dialogue that dives into the dark themes of the game. The combat is interesting - presenting varied sets of button challenges instead of the traditional turn-based this genre usually has. Even though it's inconsistent, it's relevant - and very engaging at the critical moments where the player decides whether this is a good game or not. What is probably the most superior aspect about Heartbound is how well thought out everything is. Further noting how synchronized the challenges are to the current mood of the narrative. The art style really adds to the game as well - looking great, and defining every necessary element well. It's hard to say that Heartbound isn't the embodiment of what an indie game should be - only it's important to note that it is not finished yet. The full scope of gameplay has yet to be fleshed out - but already, it presents very well.
Defining How To Deal with the Devil
As an early access game, we are yet to see how Heartbound comes to fruition. If the gameplay continues to be as refined - we are in for a legendary title. The game takes the tricky subjects of mental health and conveys them very well through the dark narrative - it's not so dark that it doesn't make you want to play.
It's easy to tell that the developer has been inspired by early games such as Earthbound and Secret of Mana in how it functions - but the stories and world-building around it are very unique. We will watch Heartbound with great interest - we need to see how this fascinating yet dark tale plays out.
- Art style and environments are well-construed
- A dark yet well-conveyed narrative serving as the basis for the game
- Challenging and engaging puzzles consistent with the story
- The dark themes of the game may not be for everybody
- Combat is lacking in the early access
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP