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What Critics Are Saying About Haven

Romance isn't dead, and especially not in gaming. Haven is a romantic adventure from indie studio The Game Bakers, and was made to be played solo or with a loved one. Antagonists Kay and Yu are on the run, traveling across space to begin their new life together on a mysterious planet. There they fight monsters, gather materials, and sometimes have deep conversations — or just cuddle on the sofa. Although it contains elements of an action RPG, the game is definitely hoping to appeal to romantics, as it asks the player "if you're willing to give up everything else for love." But did Haven succeed in pulling on the heartstrings of the critics?

Nurturing the relationship between Yu and Kay is essential in Haven, which not only evolves the story but also helps the player earn experience. IGN reviewer Kyle Campbell was thoroughly delighted by this mechanic, and said: "The give and take of this relationship is governed by you, which works for me because it's so satisfying seeing their love blossom from the fruits of your labor."

Besides cultivating the young couple's relationship, Haven involves the exploration of the planet Source, which has been plagued by a mysterious substance called Rust. Kay and Yu glide through the environment on anti-gravity boots, a mechanic which Game Informer called "exhilarating." While gliding, players also must clean up whatever Rust they find, a task which IGN's reviewer found tiresome. "Cleaning involves brainlessly flying over corrupted areas, soaking up Rust like a Roomba that's regretting whatever life choices led it to this moment," Campbell vividly described.

Players will come across wild creatures which have been corrupted by Rust, leading to a turn-based battle sequence. Haven's combat mode was a big let down for some critics, particular for those who played the game solo. Game Reactor found coordinating both characters during battle to be "cumbersome" and difficult to control, while Game Informer's Joe Juba was unimpressed by what he considered to be a limited system: "The focus on timing and cooperation is interesting, but after a few basic upgrades, the battle system doesn't evolve in meaningful ways."

The scores for Haven are pretty mixed, ranging from a whopping 100 to as low as 50 on Metacritic. From the looks of the reviews so far, it seems that it's the game's romantic narrative that has won over some critics, while the combat system was a big miss for others. Haven is currently available for PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox One.