It’s a bit odd seeing some games that were released for one platform would then be put out for other platforms years later. Doing so days or months later is common enough, but years later is a rarer occurrence with some interesting results. It lets more people play that game, and it also kind of serves as a reminder that it exists somewhere. Those who have played it before can now tell those who are about to on what they should expect from it, which could be either a good or bad thing.
Where is my Heart? is a puzzle platformer developed by Die Gute Fabrik and published by Copenhagen Game Collective that first came out for the PlayStation Portable back in 2011. While it’s not entirely new, more gamers have started to look into this title now that it’s out for the PC. The game was inspired by game designer Bernhard Schulenburg’s time as a child when he and his parents got lost in the woods during a hike, which resulted in familial disputes that are also present in this game.
You follow a family of three monster who are lost in the forest after their tree home suddenly floated away. While hurting from the loss of their home, they must somehow work together in order to find their home again. The visual style is definitely the most distinct feature of the game, with a pastel color scheme and designs that look like they were taken off Korean stationeries (google it). The graphics are in the old-school pixelated style that is common with indie games, so the game has relatively low system requirements.
Upon starting a game, you almost immediately see and feel the weirdness in this game. The movement and jumping feel a bit floaty, but you are going to slow down and think before moving anyway, so it’s not too big of a problem to manage. There is little to no instruction available to teach you the mechanics other than tooltips that pop up when you get close to something. The levels progress nicely though, so you soon learn how the game works as you go along.
The objective is basically getting all three monsters from the start to the end of each level while collecting as many of the hearts as possible, with at least one in order to finish it. Each part of the level is divided into panels, which you can pass through to get to the next one, but be careful as you’ll soon find out that they are not exactly in the right order. That’s where a big part of the difficulty comes in, wherein you figure out which goes to where and how to cross without getting killed.
You can switch between one of the three monsters — Brown, Orange, and Black (Yes, those are their actual names). They can cooperate by letting each other stand on top of them, which lets you do things like reach high places. The dynamics between them go beyond solving puzzles though as the loading screens would show them talking about each other, usually in a rather negative light. This adds dynamic to the storyline, wherein they are a family that must work through their differences in order to survive and to get back home again.
If you wish to make gameplay better by using a pad controller, you’ll be disappointed as this game does not support them, which is very odd since this game came from the PSP. At least you get to remap controls on the keyboard though, so it just takes a bit of getting used to. Perhaps controller support will eventually come in a future update, but you might as well use the keyboard or something like Xpadder to map keys to your gamepad. (Take note that it’s a third party program, so be careful.)
This game was great as a Playstation mini title, and you can still play it as such if you have a PS Vita. However, it’s a bit less impressive as a PC title. Despite that, you’ll still find a way to like this game due to its visual charm, unique puzzles, and meaningful narrative.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 7/10