Escape to a lost planet with your significant other.
For a healthy relationship to work, support is essential. No matter how crazy things may become, the support of your partner will always help keep you strong. Haven is an affectionate, sci-fi adventure, 3rd party co-op RPG, and survivalist game. Developed by The Game Bakers in 2020, it recently made its way onto Nintendo Switch. The game focuses equally on exploration and romance between an unlikely couple, for both the good times and the bad. It’s got the gameplay of Persona and Journey, and the graphics of No-Man’s Sky and Gravity Rush. All games I’ve adored in the past. So! Strap on your anti-gravity boots, grab some grub and take a seat as we discuss “Haven”.
Somewhere…. among the infinite stars, lies a safe, beautiful yet uninhabited pastel-colored planet called “Source”. After crashing their spacecraft (lovingly called “Nest”) on the source, the couple starts living out their days on the Source together. Though it is a gorgeous location, it’s also a dangerous area. Hostile wildlife is often found roaming between floaty mountains, and won’t take kindly to visitors. In saying this though, the Source is a safe “haven” for Yu and Kay. Both are lovebird escapees from an oppressive society called the “Apiary”. The “Apiary” is an interplanetary organization that dictated the lives of many individuals including their own. They do this through “matchmaking” individuals based on statistics rather than feelings.
There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
With “Haven” you can play as either of the lovers, Yu or Kay. You’ll also have the ability to switch out interchangeably between the two as you explore the world together. Together, you will gather food to eat, materials for building your “Nest”, and purify beasties corrupted by “rust”. Picking the expedition leader requires no more than pressing a simple button, something which pleased me greatly. Unlike Death Stranding, you’re not subjected to hours and hours of walking. Instead, the couple have equipped some snazzy anti-gravity boots. With these, you can float quickly to various locations, and collect this blue line of energy called “flow”. You can also use this “flow” energy to surf and fly to various locations on the little “islets” across the planet while hunting down resources.
Fighting mechanics are great, intuitive, and fun to get used to. It’s easy to get a feeling of satisfaction as you co-ordinate attacks between both lovers. Choose to defend yourself, blast, impact (either solo or together) or purify the beasties that come your way. You can spend a long day’s work harvesting veggies or swabbing rust. After, the couple can partake in small tasks at their Nest. Their love blossoms not with huge grandiose actions, but with the little things they do daily. For example, if Kay cooks spicy food, something Yu adores, they’ll get experience points as a result of making each other happy.
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
The graphics in this game are simply stunning. The color palette of the planet and the immediate surroundings are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. The soundtrack is also fascinating in its own way, and very soothing. There are interesting undertones as you go from safe areas to areas with hostile creatures nearby.
So with that, let’s talk about the verdict. Is it worth giving Haven a chance? For me, the answer is an unequivocal yes. I had a wonderful experience playing this on the Nintendo Switch both by myself and with my partner in crime. Not only is it a good value for money, but you can feel the love that the developers put into this project as a whole. There’s enough content to keep you and your significant other busy, and it has a beautifully immersive story.