Haven is just heavenly. The opening sequence of Haven bombards you with a myriad of bright colours and soothing beats, giving birth to a nice and pleasant feeling inside of you. Coupled with its fluid animation, you can expect a light-hearted and sweet experience is waiting for you. The downside of Haven is that it doesn’t come with a girlfriend, turning all those emotions into bittersweet feelings.
Haven is best described as an action-adventure visual novel game. Haven leads you in with a nice cosy abode before showcasing our two protagonists, Yu and Kay. The dreamy soundtrack and the comfortable atmosphere between the two best described the relationship our protagonist has with each other. A feeling of envy blossomed within me, wishing I have what they are having. The very notion of it does sound stupid but seeing that reality is oftentimes disappointing, it’s not a wonder why us human dive into such work of fiction with great relish.
The voice actors for Yu and Kay certainly bring life to the characters that they are playing. The tone they took to each other certainly shows that the actors are deep into their characters. It was as though they were Yu and Kay themselves. Be it their playful banter, concern for their mental health or the occasional tease, you will definitely look forward listening to more of their conversations. Such as when Yu asked if Kay is enjoying the view as she takes the lead to move around the world, you can hear the smirk coming off Kay tone when he replied definitely.
If you’re a veteran of Visual Novel games and wondering if there are extra spicy sauce to Haven, unfortunately, I got to tell you that there’s no such spice. To those that don’t play a lot of visual novel games and have a big question mark on above your head, I’m talking about nudity/sex scene. It’s a pretty common thing to see among visual novel games and if you’re hoping to see such visuals you will be sorely disappointed.
Despite its absence, Haven itself is a great visual novel game. The performance by the voice actors adds life to these 2D characters. Although the story plot is a bit cliche, a story about a young man and woman running away from home together or in this case running away from their home planet to another, the most important aspect of it is the execution of its delivery.
The soft-dreamy tunes certainly make one feel tranquil as you go about exploring the planet that you’re on. The joy of exploring the planet doesn’t stem from searching for food or parts for your broken ship, but story progression. To listen to more of Yu and Kay conversation. Their background story, and knowing how they first met and getting to where they are right now.
As you explore the planet you will run into the local critters and some of them don’t take too kindly to your presence. Although I mention action earlier on, I used that term loosely. The combat is kind of playing a game of rock, paper scissors. You either hit the enemy with strikes they are prone against or block the enemy attacks. Yes, the combat is rather simple in Haven. Yet its simplicity can slightly be chaotic at the later stages due to the quality and quantity of monster that you have to fight. And from that, I don’t know if it’s better when you’re playing alone or with your partner. Fighting in Haven is rather a chore thing to do. Thankfully, fighting is somewhat avoidable.
Haven | The Game Bakers
Haven highly recommends you to play with a controller, but playing with a mouse and keyboard is still doable should you not have a controller like me. Playing with the mouse and keyboard certainly feels clunky when you’re gliding around the map or changing the camera angle. And with that, I speculate that Haven is designed around a controller, the UI is another indicator for it. Thankfully though, Haven doesn’t mention that it is best played with a controller and a girlfriend, else I would have refunded it in a heartbeat before committing seppuku.
Haven is a must-have for any avid visual Novels gamers and for those looking for a gateway to the visual novel genre, Haven is the gate for you to enter from. One might say its a haven for the soul.
Platform: PC (Windows[Played]), Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox X and Series S & Xbox One
Publisher: The Game Bakers
Developer: The Game Bakers
Rating: 8 out of 10
Price: $22 (or your region equivalent)