HeartZ Co Hope Puzzles is a side viewed puzzle adventure, where you have to clear each rooms puzzles, and avoid traps to make you r way to Nylus, the antagonist of HeartZ. There are 3 main protagonists, with each one specialising in a different set of abilities. Jump, punch, even fart! For which there is an achievement related to killing someone with it. Nice. The game can be played solo, or with up to 2 friends, in local co-op play. Sadly there is no online co-op, but it doesn’t detract from the fun this game offers.
There are some simple rooms within the first 2 acts of the game, just so you can ease in gently to how the gameplay mechanics work with regards to being able to utilise all 3 robots. You can select them at will, using the D-pad, and they will stay exactly where you leave them. Some puzzles require a specific character to progress through opposing traps or puzzles, and the coloured spawn chambers will be obvious as to which robot you have to choose.
As you venture further, you will acquire the Protopulse, which allows you powers to make use of in solving puzzles and avoiding traps. Switching the Protopulse between characters is made simple by pressing the trigger. Shields, teleportation and even barking are at your disposal while you navigate each room.
Deaths are a common occurrence as you have laser grids on the floor, laser beams and everybody’s favourite, heat related death. The latter turning you into a roast chicken on a plate will raise a smile. Moving platforms make a welcome return to gaming here, and explosions. How can we not have a puzzle game without explosions ruining your advances through a room. Oh, don’t forget levers to open doors. A series of clichés, yes. But utilised properly by Upper Byte thankfully.
Graphically, HeartZ is pleasing to look at, with a detailed world, and a generous colour palette. One of the better looking Indie games I have had the pleasure of playing in the last 2 years. No visual issues to complain about. The camera is at optimal distance depending on how far away our intrepid robotic heroes are from one another. Music for the pause menu is fantastic, and in a way, slightly eerie, with a hint of sinister thrown in there for good measure. Unfortunately, music makes way for sound effects only as you play the game. It would have been a better experience in my personal opinion, if the music was enabled during gameplay. But this nothing to make a big fuss about. HeartZ has bucket loads of charm about it, and with the ease of gameplay, and a truck load of content with regards to the challenges on offer, you will be playing HeartZ for quite some time. The challenges vary, with speed runs, co-op attempts, and even completing a level with a limit on how many times you can jump. I can honestly say, that if you make the purchase, you will enjoy HeartZ. Even more so if you are lucky enough to have friends who live in close proximity. The asking price of £7.99 is perfect for the amount of hours you will be able to invest.
Would I recommend HeartZ? Yes, yes indeed I would. If you’re not into Indie games, or puzzles, the it may not be for you. But if you are on the lookout for a game to play with friends, you can do a lot worse. HeartZ is a fun game, and Upper Byte deserve some credit for their hard work. They gently ease you into the game, and have tutorials pop up as and when you find something new within the world of the Nylus Corporation. So you are only left scratching you heads at the puzzles and not how the game works. I have already clocked up nearly 8 hours, and currently working my way through chapter 6. Luckily I have managed a little bit of co-op play, and attempted, very poorly I might add, some challenges too.
The whole package is certainly worth the asking price, and certainly deserving of a place in any Indie game fans collection. In terms of bad points, nothing major springs to mind. Maybe a little background music during gameplay would have been an addition that breaks up the quiet and occasional set of sounds effects. A lack of online co-op is a shame given the age of the internet and online gaming. Time constraints? Financial reasons? Who can say for sure. Although you don’t need to play in co-op to complete the game, as all the rooms have been optimised to make solo play possible. A thoroughly enjoyable experience, and comes highly recommended from myself.
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