There have been fantastic games as recent as “To the Moon” that depend solely on a narrative to guide their tale, but most of them aren’t successful. Naturally, this genre has always been hit or miss. With so much story and not enough action, fickle gamers often find themselves giving up on these tales.
Such is the case with Bent Spoon Games’ “Girl With a Heart Of.”
While the lush graphics will instantly remind a hardcore gamer of Interplay’s Super Nintendo classic, “Out of This World,” the complete lack of real gameplay elements hurts the title immensely. The iPad doesn’t have games with a story the depth of this one and there’s definitely a niche for them. Considering the look of the title and the obvious amount of time it took to write this huge story, this game could have been a smash hit. The writing however lacks a certain overt sexiness and eliminates any yearning need to partake in this adventure. There’s nothing that gets you attached to the characters or in a position to remotely care about the fate of this world.
And it shouldn’t be this way. “Girl With a Heart Of” is an apocalypse story meets a coming of age tale, centered around a young girl with a magical heart- it definitely has its cool moments. But you always feel like you’re on the outside looking in. Often times, the dialogue reads like it’s out of a college essay. It has no real soul. It’s already incredibly deep and intellectually challenging, but it tries too hard to be even more so. That element perhaps hurts more than anything else. With an utterly charming look, Bent Spoon Games would be able to craft some beautiful platformers or adventure games on the iPad. However, considering the subject and way of thinking on this title, such an idea seems out of the realm of possibilities for them.
The amount of bugs and crashes in the iPad version often made playing more tedious than it should have been, with random crashes occurring at various points in the game. While the Mac version ran without a hitch, this is not the type of game you can play for hours, stationary on a Mac Book Pro. Add in the gopher type of missions, going from one floor to another, engaging in long-winded conversation, to only go to another floor and start another one, and “Girl With a Heart Of” is essentially a book in video game clothing.
That doesn’t mean it should be ignored.
The ideas and philosophies this game discusses are ones being discussed by college philosophy majors every day, all over the world. Morals, ethics, how we learn from our mistakes and grow from them- are important. This game may very well be one that is remembered one day for bringing these topics to a video game platform. But it won’t be looked back upon as an enjoyable title.