Note: We beat this game on January 5, but that’s before I had the blog ready, so I quickly wrote and published this today.
Heave Ho is a game that I never really foresaw myself playing, but ended up being a great experience. I picked it up specifically because my wife (who doesn’t play games much) requested that we get it and play it together, and it ended up being some of the most fun I’ve had in a while.
At its core, Heave Ho is a really simple game. You’re a weird blob thing- you have two long arms with hands you can use to grab things, and you can fart… and that’s about it. You have to use the limited tools at your disposal to navigate short but challenging levels involving a lot of platforming – and sometimes, some light puzzle elements.
The thing that really makes Heave Ho a special experience is that the developers did a great job at creating a simple foundation and then building upon it in very interesting ways. You don’t have a ton of tools at your disposal, but you don’t need them, you just need to be creative with the things that you do have. The levels are also very short unless you end up having trouble, which really helps move things along – and critically, if too much time passes and you haven’t beaten it yet, you have the option of pulling an “assistance lever” that’ll help you complete it so you can move on to the next thing. The whole game always keeps you moving, and doesn’t let things get stale.
The only caveat against my full recommendation of Heave Ho is that I don’t think I would’ve had nearly as fun playing it alone as I did with my wife. Unfortunately, there’s also no online multiplayer, so you really need to be able to get together with somebody else to play, something that’s probably challenging for a lot of people with how the world is right now.
All in all, I’m really happy I gave Heave Ho a shot. We beat the base game in just around 3-4 hours, but it was a lot of fun to spend a couple of evenings playing it with my wife, and that’s priceless.