As you cling to a boulder in pitch-black darkness with nothing but infinity beneath you, you grin. This is nothing new. You swing yourself, rolling your body across the rocks, as your grip never falters. You get close to the exit, but before you do, you see a golden rope. Without hesitation, you grab ahold of it, and immediately you are transported to none other than, a DANCE PARTY. Welcome to our Heave Ho review for Nintendo Switch.
Heave Ho, developed by Le Cartel Studio is a strange, yet addicting adventure title. In many ways, it’s hard to determine if this game is truly an adventure title or if it should be classified as more of an adventure puzzle game. While, in practice, the game is exceptionally simplistic, each level holds challenges that require more than just simple reflexes to bypass. The premise is pretty straightforward. You are a ball creature with arms, grasping at walls and outcroppings with exceptional dexterity, as you work your way toward a goal line. To do this you may have to swing yourself with momentum and fling your body into the air, hoping that you can grasp something so you don’t plummet to your death.
As you make your way through the levels you encounter spikes, electricity, moving platforms and more which will add immense trouble to what would otherwise be a pretty simple challenge. Each level holds its own special strategy for beating it successfully which is where working through them as a puzzle may help. There is, however, quite a bit of luck thrown into the mix when you take into consideration that heaving yourself from one platform to the next with the exact trajectory you wanted is never a given. This is actually where a good piece of the fun of Heave Ho is. The unexpected nature of the unique gameplay. With additional time trials and plenty of levels to heave yourself through, there is enough content to keep a single player busy for some time.
As if simply passing each level wasn’t enough, Heave Ho’s biggest draw is in its co-op gameplay. During co-op challenges, you work alongside up to 4 other players, and use them to make your way to the goal line. Unfortunately, in many ways, you’re also putting your big round face in their literal hands, and hope that they don’t swing you into the abyss. For the greater part of your Heave Ho experience, if you are playing in co-op mode, you will undoubtedly have a much better time. Le Cartel Studio made it as easy as possible to have friends join in with such simplistic controls that even extremely casual gamers can get into it with nearly zero learning curve.
While there are some minor variations of gameplay in Heave Ho, which includes the aforementioned “dance party” levels that you may come across in your playthrough, there isn’t much else in terms of real in-depth gameplay aside from flinging yourself around the levels. Co-op play may be the pinnacle of the Heave Ho experience, and the thrill of playing with others fades very quickly when even the music gets wildly repetitive in single-player mode.
A Switch key was provided for the purpose of review.