I’m only a couple more hours in before I can get lovebirds-on-a-lam Kay and Yu out of the jam they’re stuck in before the eventual end. But you see, everything alien about developer The Game Bakers’ latest survival adventure sci-fi indie, Haven, makes me just want to, I don’t know, just mellow out.
Yes, this IS from the same devs who made Furi, a game that features nothing but boss rushes and anxiety. The total opposite of “mellow out” experiences.
Honestly, I’m fine aimlessly flying about its gorgeous landscape for hours on end. Maybe it’s the controls. See, both Kay and Yu can use their hover boots to dash across the field and surface. Since they walk in a molasses-like pace, dashing and drifting are the only ways to get around Haven. It takes a while to get used to, but pretty soon you’ll be U-turning and drifting corners like a pro just running through energy threads scattered across the map and grinding upwards to get to previously-unreachable ledges.
In the first few hours, your objectives are clear: don’t die, survive, collect food to cook, heal up if injured, and clear out the red rust plaguing the planet. Your boots can clear these ever-growing pools of corruption, and collecting crystallized pieces of rusts eliminates them entirely. There’s an eco-friendly message tucked within its cleanup gameplay here and there, but nothing that seems too preachy at the moment.
Also, there’s a budding narrative between our heroes. Both of them were going to be set up with their respective arranged marriages in the society they’ve run away from. They found each other, fell in love, and escaped. Your time in Haven basically fleshes out the dynamic and relationship between the two. And so far, it works! I love that both of them complement each other in the relationship, be it Kay’s smarts and Yu’s strength and resolve depending on the situation.
I’d love to reveal more and also explain how Haven’s story and gameplay are in-sync, but I’m still not done yet. I really don’t want to finish this game so soon because just clearing rust, petting the alien animals, pacifying the fierce ones, and just chillaxing while flying around is pretty…theurapheutic. Video below, so you can get the idea of what you’re in for in the first hour.
Haven is out now on PC, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PS5. Stay tuned for our review later this week.