Heave Ho (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Josh Di Falco 30.12.2019

Review for Heave Ho on Nintendo Switch

While Microsoft and Sony's consoles seem to be at the forefront for the latest and greatest AAA blockbuster titles, Nintendo's Switch is continuing to be the home of the weird and wackiest games developed. Le Cartel Studio has added Heave Ho to the mix, one of the better local multiplayer games added to the console's library. While Heave Ho does have a single-player mode, the couch co-op is where the fun and insanity really begin. Up to four players can take control of their own bubbly character and use their hands to navigate everybody across to the end of the stages, in the fastest time possible.

Few local multiplayer games really nail the concept of being simple to understand, while offering hours of pure enjoyment. Heave Ho enlists up to four characters who can only navigate across the stages with their hands. The goal is to get those to the end of each stage, designated by a flag. Doing so is much tougher than it looks. Without legs, the characters can only use their hands to hold onto the platforms and master the art of the swing to generate enough momentum to make daring leaps of faith.

In single-player, Heave Ho doesn't have as much going for it. Stages are doable, but the thought of having to roll a head along the ground and use the arm controls to make it to the end doesn't sound nearly as exciting as doing it in a group with real people. Most of the laughs and joy that comes from Heave Ho is due to the chaotic and insane ways in which the characters get killed.

Screenshot for Heave Ho on Nintendo Switch

Stages contain a multitude of platforms to swing across, or to throw friends across. Spikes and other obstacles often come up to impede progress, and thus, trying to work together to form a coherent plan to make it through the stage becomes the fun and trying aspect of Heave Ho. One of the real advantages is that there's a bunch of ways to tackle a level and discovering these ways is only limited by imagination.

Having four characters link hands to create a long bridge is the fun part - trying to figure out how to then get across with falling down the chasm is the chaotic part. One wrong move, or if the wrong character let's go of the ledge, then the characters will drop to a certain, and gory death. The art design is pretty to look at, while the 'gory' deaths are only displayed with the gush of colour splattering all over the stage to signify the death. It's expected that by the end of the stage, the various platforms will be littered with different colours, reflective of each character that died trying to get across.

Screenshot for Heave Ho on Nintendo Switch

The simple concept of using hands to get across a stage means that anyone can jump in and begin playing. This makes Heave Ho one of the best party games for 2019, and even if there is barely any progress being made, the constant deaths and the insane leaps of faith can bring many hours of laughs. There are plenty of ways to customise characters, and more options become available as progress is made.

Heave Ho is also filled with plenty of weird and outrageous imagery. There's a camel which slowly walks across the screen and lets out the biggest fart, as the screen then fills up with the yellow gas that obscures any vision of the stage. Loading screens between stages sometimes feature a character with the 'poo' emoji on its head. Everything found in Heave Ho is meant to bring the laughs, and there is plenty of things to laugh at.

Screenshot for Heave Ho on Nintendo Switch

The main drawbacks to Heave Ho is that the single-player experience gets old really quickly - and dying isn't nearly as much fun as with a party. In a party, the frustration of not being able to pass a stage is covered up by the laughter and joy that is brought on by the insanity of it all. But in a single-player setting, there are few laughs to be had and as such, the difficulty can become more frustrating.

There is no online multiplayer option here, and that's to be expected as Heave Ho is very much a title of coordination and teamwork. An online option to play with others with microphone support would've been a helpful option for those who don't always have a party or other local players to enjoy the experience with.

Screenshot for Heave Ho on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Heave Ho is an insane party game that ramps up the craziness to the maximum. While there is a single-player option, Le Cartel Studio's wacky title is best experienced with a group of people and a sense of humour. Flinging characters across the stage to land in a pit of spikes is as fun as it sounds, while the joy and elation that transpires after eventually reaching the destination helps to make Heave Ho one of the mainstays of party titles. While it doesn't dethrone the Mario Party, Smash Bros, or Mario Kart series, this can safely sit near the top of party games for when such a time to experience the outrageous and whimsical title arises.

Developer

Le Cartel Studio

Publisher

Devolver Digital

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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