Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

[Review] Haven – Nintendo Switch

By Elly Oak Mar 8, 2021
Developed By: The Game Bakers
Categories: Adventure, RPG
Release Date: 02.04.21

A couple, away from it all, hiding from those who search to tear them apart and force them to live a selected life. Soon their ship, their home is in dire need to repairs, and it’s off for them to get the needs to fix it. You might end up just forgetting the story at times because of how much more focus the game puts on the couple, Kay and Yu and their relationship.

Haven is about these two people. Their journey, their love, the troubles they go through. The dialogue is fantastic, the voice actors have a fantastic chemistry with eachother. In the fully voiced conversations they have, it ranges from purely casual talk, about walking, cooking, their daily struggles, to even saucier things such as their sex life. There is a lot of dialog, so depending on what you do, it’s seldom you’ll get repeats. It’s all convincing, when their love might seem a bit shaky at times, you feel it. When they’re excited about cooking a new meal, you feel it. When they’re just camping and goofing off thinking of fake band names, it feels authentic. For an extra touch, this game can be played co-operatively. Local only, it’s sure to put *that* relationship to the test. At least it’s drop in incase anyone gets a bit frustrated at the other.

It’s advertised and labeled as an RPG, but that’s only a small part of the game. The biggest chunk, and I’d say the core, is the exploration and adventure aspects. You’ll glide around different areas of the plant you inhabit. Seeing creatures, some of which need to be calmed down with a little fight. Collecting local fruits and spices in order to create new meals instead of just the plain Appledew recipes that have drove Kay and Yu to another ring of boredom. Cleaning rust, that spreads like an infection and puts the animals into a wild frenzy, reminding me a bit of Princess Mononoke. You’ll even occasionally find pieces to your busted ship and little nicknacks.

You can level up in Haven, but it’s less about just gathering experience and more of how close Kay and Yu’s bond is. Cook, Eat, Sleep, Fight enemies, or just talk. Depending on what is done and how, it can go up faster. While you can do lots of things to level up, the perks of leveling up are mostly to the benefit of fights. More HP, stronger attacks, stronger shields, and that jazz.

With fights, you have a decent amount of options, and you won’t just be able to cheese one. Some enemies require you shoot an energy blast at them. Some require just getting a nice bonk. You’ll have to counter a few with your shields. Once you’ve tuckered them out, you get the option to pacify them, and let them on their merry way. Make this a priority when able, as they’ll get back up if you take too long. Soon you can do super powerful combo attacks where both of you will blast or strike at once, great for boss fights.

Soothing music fills the open areas. It’s so relaxing just to glide around and collect plants. The fight music, while not as hype gathering as something like Eternity from Blue Dragon, is fitting music, and I can’t get it out of my head. It’s easy to make music that is relaxing, and swerves into too relaxing territory, but Haven never hits that point.

It’s not just music that comes off as calming. The landscapes, island, beaches you go to all have this serene feel to them. It’s refreshing as someone who in current times has no real access to the broad, beautiful, lustrous outdoors. I’m almost jealous of a videogame character.

Haven more often than not gives me vibes that it’s more a game about the relationship between two lovers than anything else. But since it’s not just a visual novel or walking simulator, it doesn’t feel cheap or artsy. I doesn’t help that the team knows what they’re doing.

4/5

Buy Now: $24.99

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*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes

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