Haven Preview – Charmingly Beautiful
One of the last previews of this year’s Gamescom is the next game of Furi developer GameBakers: Haven. Though rest assured, this doesn’t mean this new title seems any less fascinating or interesting.
Instead of a sequel or another boss rush game, Haven is a game so wholesome and cute it will melt your heart. Centering around Yu and Kay, two lovers who escaped to a lost planet, simply to live together without restrictions. Living day to day, eating the same plants they find, collecting resources and well, gliding over grass like the dreamy couple they are.
Haven is purely focused on those two, basically happy couple, there won’t be a heartbreaking storyline as far as I could tell nor one centering about them coming together. Rather, they’re already happy and the game lets you get a glimpse into their comfy life and everyday fights. The demo started out with a glimpse into this everyday life and the truly charming writing, focusing on delivering an unsurprising but simply heartwarmingly cute representation of being in a truly pure relationship. While the voice actors can be hit and miss with some lines, they overall make a great job at delivering this atmosphere, which is another key factor of why Haven works so well during those conversation bits. It’s simply very well written for what it wants to achieve.
There are also a ton of side stuff to do and experience like cooking, which profits from you collecting ingredients from the outer world to cook more variational dishes. Those don’t grant you any kind of gameplay bonus per se but focus solely on providing more intimate encounters with the two protagonists, so how Haven will keep itself fresh and charming is one of the key aspects of how enjoyable it will ultimately be, though I’m confident so far!
The other big part is the gameplay, consisting of two major systems: The first is gliding, pretty self-explanatory. Both are able to glide over the seemingly abandoned planet, collecting ingredients or the fuel equivalent of Haven. It certainly takes a fair amount of time until you get used to the whole thing, since it’s really a unique kind of feeling, even though the controls aren’t hard per se. Once you get the hang of it, which I kinda managed in the last few minutes to a certain degree, it really is a ton of fun though.
The other part is combat, that’s similar to turn based, real time JRPG systems of recent memory? While all fights are real time, the enemies and you need time to charge their attacks, making it kinda turn based again. What’s the real hook though is that both Yu and Kay are controlled at the same time, so you have to keep track of their actions, charge their attacks, select targets etc for them both at the same time. It sounds stressful, it is stressful and really fun. Another interesting aspect is that you always pacify animals or enemies, making them friendly and you can actually see them running around on the map, a nice touch.
All in all, Haven may seem like a weird follow-up but promises to be an absolutely charming, beautiful experience with a ton of cute stuff, interesting gameplay ideas and a lot of heart. If not for that, I don’t know how you could pass up simply gorgeous art direction and already promisingly good writing.
Haven will release 2020 for PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch