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Love. What it is. Where it comes from. Who has it. Who wants it. Who doesn’t need it? Well, I wanted to find out what love is and can I ever find true love. So, I wanted to play a new indie game Solo: Islands of the Heart and find out all the secrets about love and relationships. Does it give me all the answers in the end?
Everything in this game is about You and Your answers. There isn’t basically a core plot in Solo: Islands of the Heart, but more of self discovery after anwering many questions throughout the playthrough. The questions are about love, how you feel it, your perception of it and so on.
Gameplay & Controls
The game starts off you being on an island wondring about love and life. The game asks you questions such as are you boy, girl or non-binary, and do you like boys or girls… and so on. The character is created by your beginning answers and then you go from island to island doing the various type of puzzles, helping others, answering questions, reveal another islands, until you find a lighthouse and then you can travel to another archipelago.
The controls are pretty simple and player gets new tools and boxes as the game goes on. The boxes were used to build way to climb higher or getting over obstacles. One thing I wasn’t sure what’s is it ultimate purpose of, was the guitar player can play. It reminded me of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time but using the guitar to change the weather, colour or play some random songs to NPCs. The most annoying part in this game is after player gets a wand to move boxes and ability to use a box that can be attached to another boxes; to get the box to right there where you want it is pain in the ass! The camera is always fixed distance away from the player and only being able to move it sideways/up-down, making it difficult to get the pointer correctly. All the thing you have to for love, psszzh.
Everything in Solo: Islands of the Heart looks clean and smooth. Somehow reminding me of the game Tearaway; at times having a look of a paper, with lots of abstract scenery. I came along to one glitch that was game breaking, it only happened when I did something and the game didn’t like that, making it to glitch and me unable to do one extra puzzle, even after rebooting the game. Overall I liked how the game looked, but I must say it looks absolutely bright and too saturated. It actually hurted my eyes to play this, but the game offers an option to turn everything black and white, giving your eyes a rest. I could also use a camera and take photos of various things. The camera being very limited and can only take 28 pictures.
In the beginning all the music sounded nice and peaceful quitar playing, but soon it was obvious it’s very repetitive and getting on my nerves. I couldn’t play it with the headphones any longer, but mostly I was so focused with the puzzles that I forgot the background music altogether.
As the main thing of Solo: Islands of the Heart is the puzzles, I found them being few times extremely hard and the reason for that is the fact how player can put the boxes as will, making it impossible to know “can I do that”, “is this the correct way to do it”, “am I doing something wrong”, “is this a glitch or not”. Sometimes it became frustrating to try all possible solutions and the gameplay being very slow paced it took long time to get it right. I finally realized there’s more than one solution to most of the puzzles.
The questions also were sometimes very sensitive and private, that I didn’t want to answer actually, but in the end I did. I wasn’t sure what the purpose for all these questions and opinions, but I think in the end I got my answer.
The game wasn’t extremely difficult, but slow and surely testing patience. I’m still not sure was some parts a bug/glitch or why I didn’t manage do some additional puzzles. I tried everything with no avail.
To be honest Solo: Islands of the Heart is peaceful game to play, but someone in rush shouldn’t even try it. Player have to give the time and patience to this, and I believe the questions/opinions were also meant to stick in your thoughts throughout the gameplay. Giving you some insights or possible a self-discovery. Towards the end I was getting bored of doing the same things, only new thing being new type of boxes or new song to play.
Solo: Islands of the Heart is good little game with many different type of puzzles and just long enough to not to kill the interest. I don’t think it’ll give one sole answer to you love-life problems, but more of giving player time to relax and take it easy. Did I found the the answers in the end? Maybe.
Review copy provided by the publisher
RELEASE DATE: Jul 18, 2019
DEVELOPER: Team Gotham
PUBLISHER: Merge Games
PLATFORMS: PlayStation 4
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