Heart Maze is a sad and sombre puzzling platformer that, while it sticks pretty closely to the tropes of the genre, isn't afraid to wander off in its own direction when it wants to.
And chief amongst the way it does that revolves around, well, the way the game revolves. While the levels take place on a single screen, they also take place on a cube.
Move to the right or left of the screen and the cube switches and gives you more obstacles to conquer. You can fall down holes as well, shifting to spaces below the one you're currently on.
Power of heart
You're controlling a girl who's exploring a maze made up of, well, I'll leave that for you to find out. This isn't a cheery experience, but it's all the better for it.
The controls are simple. Buttons let you move left and right, and another lets you jump. There are switches to press, buttons to push, and puzzles to solve.
Nothing here is supremely taxing, but it's pleasant enough figuring out what you're supposed to do. There's no twitchy, split-pixel jumps here. It's your grey matter that's being poked and prodded rather than your reflexes.
Moving through the cubes is an interesting experience. You'll spot things you need, then have to figure out just how you're going to get to them.
It's sort of like playing super small metroidvanias over and over. If I push that switch I'll be able to get up there and get the key, that sort of thing.
The game is a little rough around the edges for sure, but there's so much to like here that it's easy to look past that.
When you die you rarely feel cheated, and because of the brevity of the levels you're rarely punished too harshly for a misstep.
Power of maze
Heart Maze is certainly a unique product. It's gloomy in a world of bright colours, but gloomy in its own way. And that's surprisingly refreshing.
It's a platformer that's not following the crowd, relying on atmosphere and thought rather than frantic combos of taps. And it's well worth checking out.