Where Is My Heart?

How would you react if you were out in the woods with your family one day and you became completely lost? No matter whether you're a father, a mother, a child, or a grandparent, the notion that you and your loved ones could be lost and in danger tugs at the heartstrings.

Where Is My Heart? explores the tension and bewilderment of being lost, presenting an 8-bit stylised puzzle-platformer that toys with the your perspective on the world.

When you start a new game you're immediately introduced to the family of monsters that you have to guide through each level: one brown, one black, one orange. Their quest is to work together to find the tree that is their home, which has floated away.

To do so you'll need to gather hearts scattered across each environment, adding or removing blocks that impede your advance, discovering how to use each character's abilities to your advantage.

Twist my heart round again

Though each of the monsters is the same in its basic state, they can all stand atop one another on coloured blocks to transform themselves and unlock special powers.

The Antler Ancestor has access to a double-jump, the Bat King can peer into a different reality that contains hidden routes, and the Rainbow Spirit can move the panels that make up your own window into the game's universe.

These panels are the game's most obvious distinguishing feature, boxing the action into small non-sequential chunks. Walking your character from left to right may see them go from a panel on the left to one on the right, to one above and further left than the original panel.

This type of seemingly random movement means you constantly have to try and fit the position of the sprites into an overall scheme.

The lack of any sort of hint system compounds the challenge, forcing you to work out the rules of each puzzle before solving it. Simply trying to understand what's being asked of you can take half an hour, and if you're an impatient gamer you may find yourself giving up.

The means of inspiration and survival

Just like Braid (and kitsch cartoon show Transformers) there's more to Where Is My Heart? than first meets the eye.

The theme of things being broken or out-of-sorts permeates into the story, about a family of mutually dependent outsiders facing a situation that has the power to destroy them.

The female monster weeps 16-bit tears every time one of those closest to her lands on spikes or drowns, while the others take it on the chin. She's physically orange, but emotionally blue, morphing into the multi-spectrum angel that is the Rainbow Spirit. We wondered whether she might represent bi-polar disorder.

It would be pretentious in the utmost to insist that Where Is My Heart? is a tapestry of metaphors, but it's the kind of game that invites analysis if you're that way inclined.

Why can the Bat King see things that others can't? Why is the brown monster always first into a level with a spring in his transformed step?

Die Gute Fabrik's effort is a joy to experience on multiple levels, from the quaint pixel-art style to unravelling each area's hidden-in-plain-sight secrets to its elegant storytelling.

The Minis section of the PSN Store is full of dodgy mobile ports, shoddy knock-offs, and uninspired re-runs of games you've seen before. Where Is My Heart? is a very different proposition.

Challenging in every sense, this marvellous piece of work makes for one of the finest ambassadors of Sony's download only platform.

Where Is My Heart?

Bold, blocky, and beguiling, Bernhard Schulenburg's puzzle platformer is an indie gem, a beautiful concept executed upon spectacularly
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.