Review by Nicola Warren
From the creators of 80 days! And Sorcery, Publisher and Developers Inkle bring us their new game Heavens Vault! Heavens vault is a sci-fi-esque point and click game in which the main protagonist Aliya comes across some secret scripture/glyphs of the lands ancient language and decides to set off on a mission to translate them.
The game has a bit of a Tomb Raider vibe to it minus all of the fighting and jumping around. Based in beautiful sun and sand setting Aliya, a historian explorer from a poor moon in the Nebula system is given a brooch by a friend which has an unknown inscription on it leaving her wanting to know it’s meaning.
Heavens Vault kicks off when you’re approached by a partially transparent headed robot named Six who later becomes, in a way, your right-hand man. After Six telling you that you are urgently required and no other information given to you it is your task to start off exploring the areas of the game to find out what exactly it is you need to do, but it is not long until you encounter your first clue.
As you go through the game you begin to see more and more glyphs on the walls and different items and it is your aim to pick up on similarities between them to decipher what the word is, but be careful! you will not be told if you have chosen the correct word or not and depending on how you translate things can lead to numerous different outcomes and endings within the game for Aliya which are not all good.
Luckily though, if you match the wrong word to the wrong glyph or inscription you will not be locked down and backed into a corner where you can no longer play as you would be in other games of this type. You’ll be able to carry on playing but the words you have chosen will appear in the game’s dialogue and you will soon come to see that you have chosen the wrong one, especially when you are faced with a sentence that does not make sense like “Open the carrot to get into the house”
There is not really any kind of introduction to the character in Heavens Vault but you can access a timeline in the settings which will show you the key points of Aliyas life from birth up until this point. In fact, the timeline even updates as you play the game which I feel is a cool feature to include so that you can keep track of what you have done and explore the past of the character if you wish to do so.
I also like the fact that you get rewarded in game for the more in-depth you go into research and discovery, So taking in all of your surroundings and inspecting/questioning everything is definitely a must do!
The main problem which I encountered though is that the graphics are very basic as is the environment and paired with the 2d character which is only equipped with partial movement abilities it made the movement look very blocky and jumpy, which I personally wasn’t really a fan of as it did get annoying at times. Although I understand Badger & Tiki met with the artists from Heavens Fault at EGX Rezzed and they loved the fading of Aliya on each step as it was explained that this represents her actions and that moment in time fading into history.
Heavens Vault is a peaceful game in which you have to reveal and decipher a hidden language to discover the lands forgotten past. Accompanied by soothing music and sounds you could get lost in the game for hours as long as you don’t mind the lacklustre movement abilities. A simple point and click game that has been made into a deep and puzzling discovery which can be loved and played by many!