Haven Park on the Nintendo Switch is a tiny exploration game with a big heart.
I’ve played countless adorable indie games over the years but Haven Park impacted on me and left big fat tear stains on my cheeks. For such a simplistic game it took me by surprise!
At this point, I’m certain cozy game developers are on a mission to make gamers cry!
If you’re a beginner gamer looking for a short and sweet game to get started with you’re going to delight in playing Haven Park.
AT A GLANCE
WHAT: A tiny open-world adventure for all the family.
STORY: Play as Flint, a young bird, as you fulfill your grandmother’s wish to repair and tend to Haven Park.
COST: £6.99 / € 8,49 / $8.99
DEVELOPER: Bubblebird Studio
PUBLISHER: Mooneye Studios
THE STORY OF HAVEN PARK
Haven Park is a game about exploring a tiny island.
You play as Flint, a young yellow bird who’s tasked with restoring his Grandma’s park. In her old age, she has been unable to keep the park running and she needs you to craft materials to build and mend her once-bustling business.
Developed by Fabian Weibel, Haven Park touches on a familiar story of passing on a generational legacy. I was very close to my grandparents, so this theme makes my heart ache.
Unfortunately, they didn’t leave me a great big park to tend to but they did leave me lasting memories of multiple trips to Disney Parks.
As you ramble your way around the park you’ll open up new locations on your map.
A small niggle I have is that the only way to know where you are is to find a numbered post or use the landmarks.
In a way, it’s very much like following an Ordnance Survey map, and as an avid walker myself I kinda liked it. Though it may not be your cup of tea. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
AMBIANCE AND AESTHETICS
There’s a satisfaction about the way sound effects have been given priority over music here.
When music is used, it highlights pivotal moments, like finding a camp, and makes them all that much more special.
The atmosphere reminded me very much of Wytchwood, with its heavy use of sounds over music.
Visually the game oozes cuteness with its bright popping colors. There’s a charm about it that I feel aided the story of Flick and his naivety about his new role.
The stylization of the characters and the overall environment is adorable!
I very much now want a little Flick figurine to sit on my desk and say, “Pew” every time I touch him!
DOES HAVEN PARK HAVE REPLAYABILITY?
I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Haven Park isn’t a game you’ll need to play more than once.
The story wraps itself up neatly within 4-6hrs of gameplay.
There’s nothing actually left to do once the credits roll except keep fires lit perhaps or maybe re-do your campsites.
If you haven’t completed your Notebook you’ll be able to move around much quicker, but I’ll let you discover how for yourself as it’s so darn cute it’ll make you squeal!
It’s an addition that makes you want to linger for a little while longer.
I think the price tag reflects this just right.
MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS
Haven Park’s whimsical characters and the heartfelt story truly make me feel all toasty inside.
I ugly cried like the day I lost my Nanna when Flint said, ‘Goodbye Grandma. It looks like a beautiful day is about to start.’ That’s when I knew, I was hooked on Haven Park!
I’ve completed the game 100%!
That’s rare for me because normally I’ll jump from one game to another without ever completing the first. Not through boredom may I add. It’s merely because I don’t have the time to dedicate to long stories nowadays.
Haven Park is a bite-sized treat of a game.
I did take a tad longer than my fiance who lapped up this game in 4 hours. I took a little over 10 hours in all.
Mostly because I didn’t actually want to leave little Flick and his new life.
If you loved this game then you’ll want to play A Short Hike next!