[Nintendo Switch] Haven Review
Haven from The Game Bakers is a charming 3D RPG adventure on Nintendo Switch about love and sacrifice. Learn more in our Haven review!
I’ve been waiting to play Haven from The Game Bakers since it was announced it would be making its way to the Nintendo Switch. You’ll be playing as Yu and Kay, who have escaped to a faraway planet, leaving everything behind in order to be able to find some peace. You’ll have to explore the area as you search for the parts and materials needed to fix your ship, as well as improve your new home so that you can live in harmony. Unfortunately, something – or someone – is aiming to tear you two apart. Do you have what it takes to stick together and stay alive? Are you to sacrifice it all in order to let love rule over everything?
Your journey begins as Yu and Kay are getting ready to eat. Yu is doing the cooking, and for this particular meal, they’ll enjoy some delicious stewed appledews. The other day they had fried appledews, and the other day Yu prepared appledew with a side of appledews. As you can guess by now, there aren’t many options for eating on this new planet, but at least they’re together, right? The spaceship they used to get here is called the Nest, and it will be where both characters can interact by cooking, chatting, healing any wounds, or just by sleeping to get some rest at the end of the day.
You’ll move Yu and Kay with the left analog stick, using the right one to look around you. You can glide with the ZR button or drift with the ZL button as you explore Source, cleaning up the big mess from all of the Rust that is corrupting the land. You can interact with things with the A button, which will be used when exploring to collect items and resources. When you’re going over a Flow Thread, you’ll need to follow it until it ends so that you can recharge and collect some additional Flow to power-up your home.
When you pause the game, you’ll be able to review the dialog log that registers all conversations between Yu and Kay. You can also review the pair’s inventory, which will show whatever is contained in their backpack – such as the extra meals you should always cook before leaving the Nest so that you can have something to eat, in order to manage their hunger gauge. You can also check the resources they have found – Yu will be very happy when they find a new plant called a Rattlepepper which, as its name suggests, is a spicy type of plant they can use to make new dishes.
There will also be special items, such as Yu’s ribbon, which she’s so fond of she even sleeps with it, or Kay’s medal, a keepsake that has been around his neck for as long as he can remember. You can also check the couple’s status screen, where you can review their hunger, see how much in-sync they’re, their individual current and maximum hit points, as well as their stats for impact, duo impact, blast, duo blast, max health, slow burst, gliding, and jumps – which, yes, you can improve.
Your first task will be to collect some supplies so that Yu and Kay can continue to eat and remain healthy, which is easy to do since there are a couple of appledew trees near their home. Unfortunately, while they’re out collecting food, a terrible earthquake hits the islet, sending the Nest down from the hill it rested upon, greatly damaging it in the process. To make things worse, they have no way of getting back to the Nest, so they end up having to do something they never thought would be possible: taking a small Flow Bridge to travel to another area.
A Flow Bridge is what they used to travel on their spaceship to land on Source, and neither one of them were aware of the possibility of smaller Flow Bridges being a thing. Since they need to find a way to get back to the Nest while also procuring enough food to stay alive and enough resources to fix their home, they will be exploring the nearby islets, collecting new items, and finding new creatures. Some of them will be docile – even allowing you to pet or scratch them – while others will end up attacking the pair when they approach due to the Rust corruption.
Once you go into battle, you’ll need to control both Yu and Kay as they fight against their opponents. You’ll control Kay with the D-Pad, while Yu will be controlled by the A, B, Y, and X buttons. You’ll be able to use your impact (regular attack), blast (energy attack), or shield to lower any potential damage from an enemy’s next attack. Once you’ve weakened an enemy by lowering their hit points, you’ll be able to use the pacify command to tame them by removing the Rust that corrupts them. Some enemies will be able to resist impact attacks, while others will have innate protection to blast attacks, so you’ll need to plan accordingly.
ThaRaven403 got to review Haven on PlayStation 5 last year, and it’s easy to see there’s certainly been a hit to the game’s graphics in order to get it up and running on the Nintendo Switch. This is not a deal-breaker since the solid voice acting, and fun gameplay mechanics are still present in the game. I didn’t notice any hits to the framerate when playing in Portable or Docked Mode, and the islets you explore are still colorful, as was the case on PlayStation 5.
Haven is a fun and charming RPG about love and sacrifice. Yu and Kay make for a likable and believable couple, and the voice acting helps to set the tone for the adventure you’re about to take on. It is a bit of a linear experience, but don’t let that keep you from experiencing this one on the Nintendo Switch. Haven is out today on Nintendo’s console, with a $24.99 asking price.
This Haven review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by The Game Bakers.