I’ve been noticing more and more indie games (especially those in Early Access) have been adding demos. To be fair, I have no idea if this is a new trend or if I’m just now becoming aware of it.
I’d like to tell you that I’m not sure what about Heartbound caught my eye, but I would be lying. It’s the dog. If there’s a dog, well, then that’s probably going to be the thing that snags my interest.
I played the demo for about half an hour – through what I believe to be the first chapter. There is real darkness here, both implied and explicit, and I’m not sure how to feel about that. I will say the story is effective. I want to find my dog. I desperately want to find my dog.
Once I figured out what I was doing, I liked the combat mini-games. I really liked the puzzles, which feel like they’re going to be an integral part of the experience. Honestly, there wasn’t much I didn’t like, and the only thing preventing me from just dropping a tenner on the game right now is this: it’s not done.
And I don’t mean it’s not done in that it still needs a spit & polish. It’s not that there are still bugs and other niggling problems. It’s that whole chapters of the game aren’t yet available, and I don’t do well with waiting. When I dive into a game, I want the whole package, because when I spend too much time away, I lose track of the story, of the mechanics, and really, anything more than a couple weeks, and I just start over. I don’t want Heartbound to leave me hanging, so I’m going to wait.
This is the bit I find really intriguing, and that confirms I’m going to have to keep an eye out for the full release. From the developer’s website:
Every time you interact with an object, talk to an NPC, forget to turn off a light-switch, take out the trash, or disregard a sparkly bush the game remembers this and will change subtly for all further interactions. The greatest part about this design is that it already works and is in the current builds of the game. Both minor and major differences are going to pop up throughout the game and give the community something to share with one another. Everything you do matters no matter what kind of player you are or choose to beJason (Thor) Hall – https://www.gopiratesoftware.com/games/Heartbound/
I love small dev teams with determination to make the game they want to make. I probably should pick this up now to support the process, but I am also leery enough of Early Access to worry that I’ll end up with a half-finished game. The latest information about expectations for full release says mid-to-late-2019, so it might not be far off now.