Review: Where is my Heart?
They say home is where the heart is. In some cases it’s a place that offers a sense of safety and belonging. In others it’s the people around you that lead you in the right direction. But what happens when you lose that? What happens when your home is lost and all sense of direction distorted? Where is my Heart? was built solely on the purpose of trying to recreate the sense of being lost that the developer had during a camping trip with his parents. In doing that the game succeeds in creating a unique, challenging and exceptionally rewarding puzzle game that shouldn’t be ignored.
Where is my Heart? gives you control of a family of three monsters that lose their home in the opening moments of the game. From there you journey through a forest in search of a new place to call home. Each level simply asks that you take all three of the monsters to the exit and while the path is mostly straightforward the difficulty lies in finding your way. Levels are cut into pieces and mixed up similarly to sliding block puzzles. So while you walk off the side of a block on the bottom left side of the screen you might reappear at the top right. It absolutely nails the feeling of being lost and without direction but never feels like it’s too much. There will be times where you’ll start out a level and have no clue what to do but piecing together what’s required in each level never takes long and always feels very rewarding.
Each of the three monsters are controlled by you. (Pressing triangle allows you to switch between monsters.) The mechanics of the game only go as far as some basic platforming, stacking each monster to reach higher ledges and stacking in a certain order to activate switches. Activating different switches will result in the monsters taking a unique form with their own unique ability. One has the ability to double jump, another can rotate blocks and shift into other areas of the level and another can reveal hidden platforms and pathways through walls. Each of these abilities are really cool additions to the overall game. They’re all very useful in their own way and, in regards to the story, provides the sense that this is a family of monsters that need each other.
Seeing video, images or just reading about how this game works might give the wrong impression that things get overly complex. Despite the initial moments in some levels feeling overwhelming I never truly got frustrated. The game makes you think and sometimes scratch your head in confusion but the solution is never out of reach. More importantly you’re given everything needed to solve each puzzle and there’s never too much expected of you.
It won’t take long to get through Where is my Heart? but I promise you’ll be perfectly satisfied when it’s all over. Replayability comes in going through stages to collect all of the hearts within a stage and completing the game without dying to get a perfect score. You’ll have to play through all of the levels again to do this however seeing as there’s no form of stage select. It’s no deal breaker of course but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t bummed out about not being able to just jump into my favorite levels over and over again.
Minis that prove to be excellent typically thrive off one simple and unique idea. Where is my Heart? provides something that’s always challenging, never overwhelming and just plain fun. To put it simply there’s really just nothing more satisfying than a great puzzle game and this here is one of the best.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation Portable version of the game.
What I Like:
- Really cool idea for a puzzle game
- Looks great on PSP or PS3
- Puzzles are never frustrating
- Solving puzzles is very satisfying
What I Dislike:
- Level select would have been nice