[PS4 Double Review] Solo: Islands of the Heart Review

by ThaRaven403

Solo: Islands of the Heart is a light puzzler set in a beautiful archipelago in which you’ll experience events about love. Come check what we thought in our Solo: Islands of the Heart review!

Solo is a game about love. About love as fuel, the force that drives us.

It is a universal feeling, but each of us experiences it in a different way. Individually, it holds different meanings depending on a variety of factors such as culture, gender, sexuality or traumas. That’s why Solo explores this theme in an introspective way, to have the players identify and reflect on their own experiences.

Solo is a contemplative puzzler set on a gorgeous and surreal archipelago. Reflect on your loving relationships by exploring contemplative, dream-like islands.

This is a double review for Solo: Islands of the Heart. Ceidz and ThaRaven403 played the game, and this review presents what they both had to say.

The story in this game is not a story per se, but more of a reflection and introspection on how love is in your life. As you progress in the game you’ll encounter totems who’ll ask you questions about love, how you feel about it and about your relationship with a loved one if there’s one in your life. Since the narrative can branch in many different ways depending on your answers, pretty much everyone can pick up the game and get through with their own honest answers. It’s worth noting that some of the questions deal with mature subjects, so even though the game looks colorful enough to fit for a child, I wouldn’t recommend it for them.

Getting to those archipelagos will require you to manipulate boxes to climb and reach higher places or ones across a huge gap. With the help of your magic staff, you’ll be able to grab those boxes from a distance and them manipulate them to place them in the right place and position to help you. In the beginning there will only be regular boxes, but as you progress puzzles will evolve with wind-producing boxes, ones that extend into a small bridge and sticky ones that can be placed on walls.

Solo: Islands of the Heart Review - 1

Overall, I had a great time with this game. The puzzles were fun and a couple of them towards the end of the game were truly challenging and required some creative thinking with the boxes. You could also take pictures in the game, even play guitar, but it didn’t really do or influence anything in the game, so unfortunately it left me with the feeling that it was just added to extend the game’s short length. But the true force of the game lies in the introspection it gives you. It’s more of an experience than a game when you consider that aspect, but it’s really interesting to reflect on those questions when you get to answer them. It might not appeal to everyone, you really have to be in the mood for some deep, philosophical thinking, but if you are the experience will be unique

If you’re not in there for the introspection, the easy platinum might be why you’re playing the game! Most of the trophies will come naturally as you play the game, but if you happen to miss a couple, it won’t be long to go back at them in a second playthrough as the game is about three or four hours to complete.

Solo: Islands of the Heart Review - 2

Like ThaRaven403 mentioned, Solo: Islands of the Heart is an introspective journey that will lead to a different experience depending of your honesty while answering the different totems, or your own mood while playing this game. For instance, one of the questions asked in the introduction is the name of our loved one, to which I replied the name of my wife, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the actual result in the game once I got to see it. I’m not spoiling it however, so feel free to see it for yourself.

The actual gameplay of this game is pretty basic, as we’re going from one place to the other, in a linear way. There are also no tutorials, which I liked, because being honest, most tutorials in game are usually for really basic stuff. While solving puzzles in the story, most of the time, we have to move crates in order to reach higher platforms. Later we get a magic wand that allows to fetch crates that are father away.

Solo: Islands of the Heart Review - 3

As for how the game plays, there are a total of three archipelagos you’ll visit. As you arrive on each one, you’re on a rather small island and your goal is to activate the white lighthouse that will send its light to the sleeping totem. Once he awakens, you’ll have to reach it and answer his question, and only after that will another small island will appear for you to progress. As we progress on the story, many questions are asked from different totems and you can answer as you wish, but like it was mentioned earlier, your own experience playing this game is highly dependent on how honest your are telling your own experiences.

As for the presentation, the world is great and given the underlying puzzle mechanic, is progressively exposed as you advance through the different sections of the game. The background music is composed of different guitar loops in which some are great and some eventually got on my nerves.

On the opposite as ThaRaven403, Solo: Islands of the Heart didn’t quite click with me. I’ve been married for more than 10 years, and while the questions asked from the totems were interesting, the puzzle mechanic I wasn’t that impressed by the puzzle mechanics. This game is definitively not for everyone.

Solo: Islands of the Heart Review - 4

Final Thoughts
Solo: Islands of the Heart is not a game for everyone, no doubt about it. But what it does in terms of reflecting on yourself, it does it really well. I wouldn’t recommend paying 20$ because of the truly short length, but with a decent sale and the right mood, you should love this game that’s all about love.

If you’re looking for a quick trophy guide to help you achieveing the trophies of Solo: Islands of the Heart, then you can
Trophy Guide

PSN Price: $19.99 USD

This Solo: Islands of the Heart review is based on PlayStation 4 copies provided by Merge Games Limited.

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