Solo: Islands of the Heart, a just-released puzzle adventure from Group Gotham and Merge Games, is not about its protagonist. Rather, it is about you.
Not just about you but the 1(s) you like. Solo is constructed totally about the theme of like, and rather than settling for mere metaphor, it desires to know about your precise experiences with the topic.
Off the bat, Solo wastes no time in receiving individual. It asks you your gender preferences (male, female or non-binary), then asks you about these you like: if they’re the exact same gender, the opposite gender, or either. You can then decide on 1 of 3 characters to represent you.
As you play by way of Solo‘s 3 islands, you will be asked a series of queries about your individual experiences with like and your opinions surrounding it. Are you at present in like? Do you see your existing like lasting forever? Really should like be exclusively in between two persons?
A video game hasn’t asked me such direct, individual queries considering that 2011’s Catherine it feels a small jarring and uncomfortable at 1st. But Solo does not thoughts how you answer, nor will it use the selections you make in any way. Its queries serve only to deliver you with your personal individual narrative an introspective dialogue with your deepest thoughts and feelings.
Solo‘s gameplay is simple activating a lighthouse will awaken a totem, and when you interact with that totem, it’ll ask you a new query about like. The totems are also important to progressing by way of the game, with a new region unlocking every single time. The lighthouses and totems are commonly not straightforward to access having said that, and producing a path to them is exactly where Solo‘s puzzle components come in.
To resolve these puzzles, you will want to move about blocks, use air vents to lift you up, and a parasail to attain new platforms. Solo claims that there’s no 1 single remedy to its puzzles, and that is possibly correct you can go about the game having said that you see match – while its scope is quite restricted.
Solo‘s presentation is rather standard, but it is charming. Vibrant, bold colours adorn the game’s 3 islands, with blocky textures producing a basic but eye-catching art style. The only issue that lets it down is an unwieldy and normally glitchy camera. Though Solo‘s camera tends to adhere to your character, you can also manage it your self with the correct analogue stick – which you will want to do at instances to get a clear view of exactly where you are going. But ought to you be in as well tight a spot (and none of Solo‘s landscapes are specifically open) you will probably uncover your view obscured by a wall. It is also not uncommon to uncover the camera pointing as well far up or as well far down. Acquiring it to remain just correct is an insurmountable activity.
It is a small distracting at instances, but fortunately the camera never ever becomes as well off-placing. Solo‘s quirky charm is adequate to spur you on to the subsequent puzzle, exactly where one more query about like awaits you.
Involving the game’s major puzzles are a couple of side-curios to entertain your self with. About Solo‘s islands you will uncover an array of weird and great animals. Dog-like creatures demand your interest, but some will not let you pet them till you have identified them some meals. Other creatures may possibly ask you to pull out a guitar and strum a song for them, and one more will activity you with taking a photo of a certain topic. You can progress by way of the game, skipping more than these side quests, but it is in these exactly where Solo‘s heart and soul truly show by way of.
If you are a sentimental individual, playing through Solo will undoubtedly make you assume about your life and these you hold most dear. And even if you are not fairly the mushy kind, the game’s to-the-point way of asking you queries will make you take a appear inside your self. The puzzles are not going to be the most complicated you have ever faced, but they’re exciting adequate and their open-ended options signifies you can take your time and strategy a scenario in your personal way. Neglect about shooting demons and looting corpses for a although Solo: Islands of the Heart‘s a fantastic small game to unwind and reflect with.
Solo: Islands of the Heart is out there on Computer, PS4, Xbox 1 and Switch. We reviewed the Xbox 1 version.