By Josh Speer / September 11th, 2019
Haven is one of those games I had to play once I heard the premise, but especially once I saw the art. Developed by French indie studio The Game Bakers, who previously published Furi, it’s a very different game. While Furi was an insatiable and wildly difficult boss rush, Haven is a story of two lovers that have escaped to a mysterious alien planet so they can be together. Though the demo didn’t provide all the details I craved, there was seemingly some prohibition against these two being a couple on their home planet. I’m not sure if it’s cause they were of different ethnicity or social status, but as someone that firmly believes that love is love, I couldn’t help rooting for the young couple, Yu and Kay.
It probably doesn’t hurt that both Yu and Kay are young and attractive, and are voiced by some talented voice actors. I don’t know exactly who, but I do know that it was a pleasure listening to them, especially the dulcet tones of the silver haired Yu. One thing that might surprise some is how frisky the couple are, but then again, if I was stranded on a lost planet with the love of my life, I’d probably spend a lot of time in bed, too.
Thankfully it’s not all lovey dovey, and there are some really interesting mechanics present in Haven. When you aren’t conversing, cooking or canoodling, you explore this mysterious hunk of rock. Both Yu and Kay have some sort of anti-gravity boots equipped that let them hover over the ground. You’ll encounter strings of energy as you go, and by flying directly over them, you’ll harness that energy to power your spaceship. I admit I wasn’t very good at this, but it did remind me fondly of games like Nights into Dreams.
Things quickly got even more interesting when a sudden earthquake dislodged my spaceship and put it on a section of land I couldn’t reach. Not ready to give up, Yu and Kay decided to find a way there, and in the process seem to find a wormhole that connects to another section of the planet. Quickly, they come upon corrupted creatures they must fight, which is where the combat section gets introduced. It’s real time combat, but it’s also a lot like a rhythm game. You control both characters at once, and hold down corresponding buttons to charge and unleash attacks. Eventually you’ll be able to do powerful joint attacks too, or even protect each other from harm.
I was really fascinated by Haven, both for its artistry and premise. Love and romance aren’t commonly encountered in gaming, least of all on a strange alien planet full of mystery and danger. The plot of Haven is very compelling as well, and I kept wanting to know more details about how they got there, as well as uncovering the hidden depths of the planet. If you like interesting and charming adventures, stay tuned for more details. Haven is slated to release in 2020 for PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
FrenchHavenlost planetMysteryoprainfallPAX WestromanceThe Game Bakers