Video Game Review – Where is my Heart?

Release Date: May 29th, 2014
Developer: Schulenburg Software
Publisher: Die Gute Fabrik
Format: PC Game
First playthrough time: 2 hours

piece of the landscape roughly lined up
Early levels are easy to conceptualize

Major Pros:

  • Clean and clear art style
  • Pleasant music
  • Collect all the hearts challenges players seeking perfection
  • Interesting and mind stretching puzzle design

Minor Pros:

  • Random funny sayings from the characters between levels
  • Pleasing world design that fits the story
Antler Ancestor loading screen
Each character has random lines they might say before a level

Major Cons:

  • Made my brain owie
  • Story wasn’t very engaging or clear
  • You could jump up through platforms but had no way to drop down through them

Minor Cons:

  • Rainbow spirit’s ability to jump out of the puzzle and fly around is a little difficult to use with the controls sometimes
  • Bat king’s ability to see and use special terrain felt disconnected from the other abilities and wasn’t used to its fullest potential
dark underground level
Later levels can be more difficult to piece together

Although I’m usually not a fan of pixel graphics on anything other than arcade style games, I found the art and sound effects of Where is my Heart? very pleasing. The atmosphere the game works to create is very fitting of three little tree spirits on an adventure. The exact story of that adventure is a little hazy as the game tries to tell it wordlessly through the first and last levels and you’d learn more by just reading the Steam page description, but the mood is there. Most of my complaints are around the special abilities of the characters. Rainbow spirit if often not as responsive as I’d like to buttons relating to his special abilities and the requirement to jump before rotating yourself out of the puzzle to drop into a new screen sometimes moves you into another screen and your rotation happens from that place instead. Bat king’s ability to find hidden ground to stand on is only useful for him but somehow the hidden holes he finds the others can walk into. Of course, if they stop inside the hole and bat king moves away they’ll phase into solid matter and die.

empty heart tree
Wordless cut scenes try to tell the story

All that said, the game stuck to its cute and childish roots with random amusing sayings from the characters between levels and a lot of effort was put into the puzzles to really utilize all the spirits’ skills and the player’s ability to mentally rearrange the fragmented screens. Clever use of background patterns, made more clear by the pixel graphics, provided ample clues as to how the pieces of the level were actually arranged relative to each other. Overall the game was a cute and short with puzzles that stretch the player’s visualization abilities.

three characters at the beginning of a level
Most levels use multiple characters
Find this game at the publisher’s website or on Steam.

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