While blasting away zombies and killing hordes of evil space aliens is always fun and exciting, sometimes you just need something a bit simpler. That’s why games that aren’t too serious tend to be the perfect tool for relaxing and unwinding…especially when you can play with friends. In this case this is where Heave Ho comes into play. Heave Ho allows players to control a Geodude-like creature and attempt to solve puzzles where hanging on for your life gets a whole new meaning! If you’re a bit confused, don’t fret; we have you covered. Down below we have a full review of Heave Ho for the PC—also available for the Nintendo Switch—to better explain this arcade/puzzle/platforming title. Keep scrolling down for our hilarious full review!
What to Expect
Heave Ho is a single/co-op themed arcade puzzle title where winning involves grabbing onto things and making it to the checkered flag by any means possible! You will find yourself thrown onto various shapes and platforms with the goal of somehow making your way to a specific location by grabbing ledges with your hands and flinging yourself about. Alone, you’re fighting against the clock. With friends, you’re fighting to both survive to the end and seeing how fast you can do it. Make it to the end and you’ll get to pose for a nice camera shot, fail though and you’ll find yourself falling to your doom!
Long ago—and we mean long ago—there was a game known to the world simple as QWOP. The idea of QWOP seemed simple enough, control a marathon runner and make it to the end of the race. The catch came into play when you realize your runner isn’t controlled by simply hitting one button but several to alternate between leg movements. QWOP was incredibly ridiculous and nearly impossible to play for most, but what kept fans coming back was the hope they’d learn the means of moving the runner just right to make that goal somehow. Since QWOP’s 2008 release—yeah it wasn’t really that long ago—many games have mirrored the intensity of moving a character not with one button but with several to mimic real-life motions. For the most part, games tend to do this pretty horribly, but the end result actually creates an entertaining game more often than not. Case in point, Heave Ho by developer Le Cartel Studio and publisher Devolver Digital. Heave Ho has you control a strange rock-like creature and asks you to complete one simple task. Make it to the checkered flag however you deem possible.
The main gameplay theme to Heave Ho lies in its control. Whether you use a keyboard or gamepad—we highly recommend the gamepad as does the game—you are given control over your rock person’s hands and arms. With your controller of choice, you will fling your arms around to make your character move and equally use both hands to grab onto platformers/ledges/shapes to survive. Death only happens if your character doesn’t grab a ledge properly and falls to their demise by falling off into the abyss below. Luckily, death is a quick pain as you respawn immediately over and over till you reach the goal. Now you might question how can this be deemed fun when it’s been done before and seems so simple. Our answer to that comes in two parts, the ability to play with up to 4 friends and the overall silly nature of this title.
If you play Heave Ho alone, then you are just enjoying a time trial-like experience. You create your little character and try to race the clock to reach the goal as quickly—and safely—as possible. There are tons of stages and various maps to beat and it becomes a challenge to sometimes figure out the best path to reach that sometimes elusive goal. Single player is fun and doesn’t feel overly serious, which makes it a refreshing title to just enjoy in bursts or when you’re tired of extremely tough games…like The Surge 2 for example, though we do love The Surge 2 as we mentioned in our review here at Honey’s Anime!
The true fun of Heave Ho is when you grab some friends for up to 4 player co-op! The goal of Heave Ho doesn’t change but the means of reaching obstacles does. With a friend—or 3—you’ll be able to grab onto each other to reach a goal and sometimes even perform strange chains to reach nigh impossible ledges/shapes. You’ll often need to rely on your friend’s ability to cooperate with you to make tough movements together! Heave Ho becomes an entirely different experience with friends as now you’ll need to all survive to win and need to hope you can all coordinate the best means of reaching that coveted flag.
Heave Ho—whether single player or co-op—works also because there is a huge variety of map designs! One minute you’ll be floating over a mountain trying to survive by grabbing small blocks and then you’ll be in a dark cavern where only a small light guides you to barely see that platform underneath you. Heave Ho is remarkable in the sense that its simple aesthetic allows for a bevy of map designs and themes. Never did we feel bored or had the feeling a map was just a mirror/minor edit from a previous one. Heave Ho keeps you constantly guessing what map awaits next!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Simple sometimes is better and when simple works, it works extremely well. Heave Ho isn’t trying to be the next big puzzle/arcade title but instead a fun—sometimes tough—but overall enjoyable experience to play either alone or with friends. Heave Ho is a $9.99 investment that feels as if every penny is well spent. Our recommendation is grab a friend—or several—and grab some controller. Put on Heave Ho and you will all be enjoying a game night unlike any other! Yes folks, Heave Ho gets our full recommendation and we think many of you will enjoy what awaits!
Fun single/co-op experience where grabbing ledges with flailing arms has never been more exciting
Plenty of map variety for different challenges that aren’t always simple
Art design is simple but allows a nice mix of silly character models and map formats
Great price tag
Playing with a keyboard can be a bit tough and challenging on your hand coordination
Sometimes the music can be a bit irritating
Honey's Final Verdict:
We didn’t initially expect much from Heave Ho when we saw what was offered. There wasn’t a doubt this would be a fun game, but when we actually spent some time playing Heave Ho, our enjoyment factor went up considerably. Heave Ho is an experience best enjoyed with friends but even playing alone feels worth it. If you want a game where dying doesn’t matter and just trying to win does, then you’re going to want to download Heave Ho today! Are you playing Heave Ho currently or plan to soon? You should let us know in the comments below! For even more game reviews and anime themed articles, be sure to keep stuck to our marvelous hive here at Honey’s Anime!
Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!