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Review:

vixyish's review of Heaven's Vault

4 views - 0likes

This was recommended as a game to play similar to the language translation game Chants of Sennaar. Despite being a more complex game with more beautiful art, it suffered by comparison.

The plot is interesting, the mystery of what happened to the roboticist as well as the larger mystery of the history of the Nebula. But the game allows you to get to the end with loose ends hanging; your freedom of choice can work against you as it may mean you never find out some things. (However, if this aspect appeals to you, then it's probably worth your time.)

Relatedly, the dialog options were often puzzling or just exasperating. Much of the time, every single choice you have is something rude or snarky, especially when talking to the robot. For example, when the robot asks "are you ready to leave?" your options are often either "yes" or "don't hassle me." Why force the player to be a jerk? And if being rude is just supposed to be the character's personality, then why give the player dialog choices at all?

The movement is just bad. Awkward and often inaccurate from what you intend, and there's nothing at the beginning to tell you *how* to move-- you just have to try stuff. And it's not always clear where you can and can't go.

The language translation mechanic was interesting, but had one aspect I found extremely frustrating. When you're guessing what words/phrases might mean, you're limited to only a few choices--you can't choose from all of the words you've encountered so far, even if one that you've encountered is clearly the right fit. It will only open up to allowing other guesses after you've filled in every single bit of the phrase, even if you know you're filling it in with incorrect guesses. I would've liked to be able to just guess freely from my entire list of possible words, rather than the game restricting me to three or four, some of which were clearly wrong. It was so annoying that I didn't even want to bother going back to finishing the translations after I reached the endgame, and the translation aspect was originally the whole reason I tried this game.

Overall, it's a beautiful game and an interesting story, but despite mentions I've seen on forums of people doing multiple playthroughs, the many frustrating aspects meant I won't be replaying it.

Positive points
  • Beautiful art.
  • The language you translate is interesting.
  • The story is interesting.
Negative points
  • Translation mechanic forces you to make guesses from a small fraction of your available words at a time, even if you know they're wrong.
  • Movement is awkward and jerky.
  • Player character is akward and a jerk.

5.0110
Total score