Haven has been marketed as a game that's better enjoyed if you play it in its local co-op mode with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course, it can also be played as a single-player adventure, just like any other game... so, do you really need to be in a relationship to enjoy it?
A Game Catered to Couples?
Do you want the short answer? Then no, you don't. In fact, if the reason to play it as a couple is that the male could play as Kay while the female could play as Yu, it's hard not to say it sounds a little non-diverse...
Haven is a sci-fi adventure about 2 lovers, a boy and a girl, trapped in an unexplored planet they call Source after escaping from their former home, leaving everything behind. Now, all they have is their ship and each other—and a lot of appledews, apparently... until the ship breaks, and you need to find a way to repair it.
The appeal of Haven is that Kay and Yu's interactions feel all too real, as they treat each other like any real-life couple does: avoiding corny situations, making fun of each other, and fighting a lot over stupid things... although at least that's something you can change, according to tour dialog choices. If learning about respect and tolerance while sharing your life with another human being is already hard, imagine being stranded on a lost planet, with limited resources, no other human beings to talk with, and being chased by some evil people from your former planet... stress much?
It's Okay if You're Single or Just Want to Play It Alone
Now, the story will be the same regardless of your marital status, dating history, gender, or age, so Haven's story will have the same impact on you whether you're playing it alone or accompanied. That being said, a single-player session might not be that interesting or even fun. One of the reasons is that the character's interactions are probably going to spark some debates between the 2 players (although that depends on a lot of things, of course). The other reason is that Haven is extremely repetitive, so if you don't find yourself enjoying the first hour, you probably won't like the next 7-8 hours of gameplay...
Too Hard to Fall in Love With
We're glad Haven is not a lovey-dovey story, but you won't find the most refreshing or revolutionary plot either. The same goes for the RPG mechanics. Fighting and pacifying alien animals is okay for the most part, and combo attacks are a nice touch, yet sooner than later, all encounters start to feel like an unnecessary distraction.
In this game, you'll spend most of the time gliding over the fields and traveling from islet to islet using flow bridges. A key part of Haven is cleaning all islets from a rusty substance that turns all animals into evil creatures of sorts, while also using these rusty resources and other stuff you find to fix your ship and try to escape from Source. At first, that's not a problem, but after a while, it becomes a tedious chore that makes it harder to concentrate on this already cliché plot. Haven could have been a great sci-fi visual novel with romance elements, but sadly, its weak take on RPG ends up being counterproductive.
In the end, it doesn't matter if you are single, married, or engaged. Regardless of its good intentions, Haven is a hit or miss, with a gorgeous art style but hard-to-swallow gameplay mechanics.
Don't get us wrong, we're so happy a game like this exists. Still, we can't deny there are way better games to play with your significant other and too many better options when it comes to unconventional love stories, RPG adventures on another planet, or exploring beautiful environments.