In the event you watch the trailer for Haven Park and assume to your self, “Boy, this certain does seem like A Quick Hike,” that’s intentional. The developer, Bubble Studio, mentions the indie darling as one of many inspirations behind the mission, together with Animal Crossing. And it wears these inspirations on its sleeve, with a completely animal solid, a stupendous island to discover, a hen lead character and little campsites the place guests will ask some favors of you á la Pocket Camp.
These two titles are great sources of inspiration for any indie developer seeking to trip the present wave of healthful video games. Nonetheless, it’s a must to keep in mind there’s extra to them than simply the nice and cozy emotions they feed into your soul. Their healthful nature could also be on the forefront of what gamers see, however behind these edifying facades are strong gameplay mechanics that truly drive the expertise. And in the end, that’s what’s most vital when making a recreation and what’s lacking most from Haven Park.
Haven Park (PC, Change [reviewed])
Developer: Bubble Studio
Writer: Mooneye Studios
Launched: August 5, 2021
Haven Park casts gamers within the position of Flint, slightly yellow hen who units out to rehabilitate an island of campgrounds as soon as maintained by his grandmother. She’s alongside for the trip, and all through his journey, the 2 will share some heat exchanges and phrases of encouragement as Flint discovers whether or not he has what it takes to satisfy his future.
Okay, admittedly, that final sentence makes this recreation sound grandiose when actually it’s quite humble. Flint could also be on an epic quest of the soul, however his precise journey throughout this island is nothing greater than fetch quests, crafting, and scrounging for provides. The campgrounds he discovers throughout the island are dilapidated, and he’s going to wish all of the wooden, steel, cloth, and mushrooms he can discover to revitalize them. As gamers craft components for these campgrounds, guests will seem out of nowhere to hang around, provide compliments in your caretaking, and sometimes ship you on a quest.
Provides across the island are initially plentiful, nevertheless it doesn’t take lengthy for them to begin drying up. These logs, rags, and girders don’t repopulate, and in case you’re not cautious, you possibly can find yourself painstakingly looking out each nook and cranny of the island, searching for no matter tiny provides you might need missed to attain some expertise factors. If you acquire a specific amount of XP, you’ll degree up. When this occurs, you’ll be capable of unlock new abilities that’ll assist make your island tour a bit simpler.
Sadly, these components are dealt with haphazardly. All the expertise level system feels pointless to Flint’s journey, and a few of the abilities you unlock actually don’t look like they need to be tied to leveling up. You acquire expertise for practically all the things you do in Haven Park, from selecting up a twig to finishing a fetch quest, however the quantity of XP you obtain is universally low, and it usually fails to mirror the time invested into finishing every exercise.
A few of these actions are charming, reminiscent of a choose-your-adventure e book that exams your data of the speedy space. Others may be extra of a trouble. There’s one you possibly can solely full at night time, however as a result of the sport doesn’t have a simple strategy to go the time from day to nighttime, you may simply find yourself ready round for some time.
After all, you possibly can go the time by build up your campsites. However it is a fairly underwhelming exercise. There are only a few objects you possibly can craft, even whenever you unlock the talent to craft all gadgets. There are simply 4 shelter sorts, so all of my campgrounds actually began to bleed into each other the extra I developed the land. The one factor actually separating the look of every campground are the wildly completely different layouts that may generally make merchandise placement a problem.
What’s fascinating although, is the campground portion of Haven Park is essentially inconsequential to the general purpose of assembly up with Grandma on completely different factors of the island. There’s only a single campground it’s a must to develop to see the credit roll. Past that, Flint’s explorations and redevelopment endeavors are two fully separate components which have little bearing on each other.
The truth is, I get the impression the builders of Haven Park know this as a result of the primary day I performed it, messages stored popping up asking if I used to be misplaced. To be honest, this has been toned down with a current replace, however for a recreation that has an island beckoning to be explored, this was a quite troubling improvement. Anytime I wandered away from a campground, it could ask if I wanted assist, as if to discourage gamers from enjoying the sport how they need to.
And that’s a disgrace as a result of I actually just like the design of this island. I believe it’s a stunning piece of land with charming artwork course and little factors of curiosity that make exploring worthwhile. The washed-out trails power gamers to search out new paths and it’s a deal with to see how the builders managed to attach most of those areas. In the end, discovering all the things the island needed to provide was probably the most pleasurable a part of my journey, simply eclipsing no matter efforts I put into the campgrounds and the well-intentioned-but-saccharine narrative.
Haven Park actually suits in with the present development of healthful video games. It’s heat, it seems delectable, and you can also make Flint say “Pew” each time you hit the A button. However like a lot of its ilk, that wholesomeness is a canopy for an expertise that’s largely unengaging. Nothing right here coalesces into a whole package deal or meets its full potential, leaving gamers with an assortment of excellent concepts in determined want of some strong execution.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]