Solo: Islands of the Heart – Xbox One Review
There seem to have been a few forays into metal health and the human mind since Hellblade hit the scenes and did a really amazing job of depicting the mental struggles of the main character.
Solo: Islands of the Heart is targeting human emotions and dealing with philosophy, poetry and psychology, although the subject matter immediately seems at odds with the cartoon art style of the game.
Before you even start the game asks you what gender you are, offering up non-binary as an option and then follows that with what gender you want to love which has the same three options but also gives you the choice of any so you can keep your options open.
You then select your avatar which depicts you in game although the options are fairly limited, final question before you depart into the game is What is the name of your most beloved, now being as my better half was there at the time it was of course her name that went in as the answer! This option then becomes the focal point of your campaign through the game.
I would have hoped to have had a few more options to be able customise my own character and maybe to decide what your ‘Most Beloved’ maybe looked like too.
This is where we embark upon our adventure however this is the point that I was expecting to at least get a little guidance on what was expected of me or a glimpse into the storyline but barring a very brief mention of the basic controls and a touch of poetry about love we are unceremoniously left to our own devices.
Essentially what we have is a 3d puzzle game but a lot of the challenge is actually working out what you are supposed to be doing, after a period of wandering around and exploring the controls I decided to jump on a boat which took me to the next island, once here again nothing was forthcoming instructionally.
The emotional side of the game is interspersed between the puzzles which are generally not especially difficult although they do get harder as you work you way through the later stages.
The aforementioned emotional and philosophical side of the game takes the form of poetry and some questions which can be a little off putting even considering the game itself.
Overall the game does work just about but I can’t help but feel this could have been so much better, the puzzles are moderately enjoyable but the main theme and storyline of the game really didn’t inspire me in the way that other games dealing with emotions or states of mind have.
If you like puzzle games this could be kind of up your street but ultimately it feels like it doesn’t quite know who it’s target audience is.
With thanks to Merge Games for the review Code
Developer: Team Gotham
Publisher: Merge Games