Let me just start by saying that I love point-and-click adventure games – when they’re done right. I can deal with the rough ones, and I’ll still play them, but if there was one genre that shouldn’t suffer from frustrating game design, it’s this genre. The majority of the games in this genre suffer from the same mistakes and when you have a manual out there for what not to do and it has been written time and time again, there is just no excuse to not read it, learn it, and follow it. All you’re doing by ignoring that manual is frustrating your fans because they’ve been down that road before. I’ll say it again: I love Point-and-Click Adventure games – when they’re done right and I so badly wanted to love this game.
Heaven’s Hope has an interesting premise. I’m obviously not going to spoil too much of it because good story and immersion are the bread, butter, potatoes, and meat of these games. I don’t want you to just have a salad and a glass of milk. I want you to get the full enjoyment out of this game … whatever that amount may be for you. You play an angel who has fallen from Heaven and you must get back your halo and get back to where you belong. You’re not a bad angel at all; you were just tricked and that led you to fall to Earth. The story and the atmosphere of this world is where this game shines and while there might not be a lot of that in this game, this is where it does so the best.
The atmosphere of this game is top notch. I almost wish it was a Netflix series with Tim Burton at the helm. I want to dive into this world. I really do. It’s interesting and the music is reminiscent of the Medievil games and Fable and I love both of those series. The beautifully crafted backgrounds and interesting character design also serve well to add to this game’s atmosphere. There’s a lot going on in this department and the hard work is evident. My only issue with this is that I don’t enjoy going through what it takes to get through it. This is honestly a game where I would be tempted to just buy it (to support the developer) and then watch a Let’s Play of it. I say that because when narratives are the main focus of the game I feel it is morally wrong to just watch a Let’s Play of it. That’s a conversation for a different time though. In all honesty, if I hadn’t completed this game for my review but had read about its flaws then that is what I would have done. I want to go through this world. I want to explore it. I just want to have fun the entire time.
Heaven’s Hope tries so hard, but it just falls short in so many areas. It’s nothing new really. In fact, if you’ve played a lot of Point-and-Click games then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. There are just too many times that I’m sitting here and moving my mouse around the screen and just waiting for something … ANYTHING to change. I have no idea what I’m looking for and I have no idea where I’m supposed to go. The things that seem logical are almost never the correct answer.
Let me give you an actual example of what I’m referring to. In the beginning, you need to get to your halo and it’s on a roof in the background. If you try to click on it then angels that are helping you will ramble for two minutes about time and space and dimensions. Yeah, they’ll explain how it’s in the background and that you have to be closer to it to reach it. Okay, now maybe this is different than their version of Heaven, but this serves than nothing more than to try to spoon feed me dialogue that the developer thinks is funny. After that is all finished, you still don’t know how to get there. You would think that walking down this path to your right is the correct way since it’s the only way you can go. That’s where I thought I was supposed to go and, in the end, yeah, that’s where you go. Here’s the issue though: You can’t go that way because it’s too dark. Don’t worry, if you’re wondering if they will explain that, they will. The angels who are helping you provide some not-very-funny dialogue and explain how you can’t create your own light on Earth. They all provide some meaningless dialogue that really isn’t funny while you sit there going “Yup … Okay. Got it. Can’t go that. Okay. Yup. Got it. Okay … Okay … Okay” and I have no issue with humor but when it isn’t funny, happens too often and reflects poor game design I am less okay with it. After hearing about how dark this route is, you will eventually (after clicking on everything) click on a picnic basket and be frightened by a crow. After a few more minutes of clicking on everything, you will click on the crow again and scare him away. This will enable to get the bread out of the picnic basket and – you’re going to love this – put some glowing insects on it so you can create a light. Yeah, your bread has bugs stuck to it that will now hover about it and it glows. I’ll let that sink in for a moment … Okay, THIS is what is wrong with point-and-click games and why they have been maimed and appear less frequently.
Many of you will tell me that “This is how Point-and-Click games are…” or “You just need to roll with it. It’s part of the genre.” No. I refuse to because just because bad game design and poorly designed mechanics are common in a genre does not make them okay. There is a manual out there that exists that shows people what NOT to do in these games. The manual consists of the dozens of terrible and/or mediocre Point-and-Click games out there. There is absolutely no excuse for this. It’s great if people want to overlook this and still play it. Other than these major flaws, the game is great but these are big flaws. These are flaws with the DESIGN of the game and how it is played. Bad game design is just that and I think we are doing a disservice to the development and evolution of this genre by giving them a pass on these major flaws.
All in all, this game is rough, but if you can overlook the flawed game design and the nonsensical methods to complete areas then you will enjoy this game. I did other than these flaws but it needs to be understood that this game had so much potential and could have been so much better. The graphical style is interesting. I love the music and sound effects. They do more justice to this game than the actual game play. The world and story feel like something out of a Tim Burton movie. I love it. I truly do but I cannot in good conscience give this game a pass on what it does wrong. Point-and-Click games are great but they need to stop making the same mistakes. We know what they are and we know how to get around them.
If you’re looking for a good story and some great atmosphere then check this game out, but be fully aware of the issues in its game design and have an online guide ready – or Rogaine, because you’re going to be pulling a lot of hair out. If you can tolerate the issues though, you will have a fun time. It’s just unfortunate that the same mistakes that so many of these Point-and-Click games make had to happen.
A PC code was sent by Mosaic Mask Studios for review.
- Interesting Story
- Excellent Music and beautiful sound effects
- Voice Acting can be a bit wooden but is good overall.
- The charm and humor, when good, reminds me of the Fable series.
- The controls are great overall.
- Flawed game design that will often have you wondering what you're supposed to do
- Dialogue sequences cannot be skipped