Solo: Islands of the Heart
Top Critic Average
Publisher: Merge Games
Solo: Islands of the Heart - Gameplay Trailer - PS4
Solo: Islands of the Heart seems like it's trying to be your counselor. Go to an actual counselor. The gameplay is calming, the scenery is cute, the colors are vibrant, the design is unique, and the puzzles require a good amount of thinking without being too easy, but its attempt to analyze a real human person with pre-determined questions starts it off teetering on the wrong foot. It never quite regains its balance.
Solo: Islands of the Heart is perhaps the most introspective game to release this year. The gameplay may not have much to do with the story, but the puzzles are decent roadblocks on the journey. The whole adventure will only take most gamers 4-6 hours to complete, and while that may feel like enough for the price ($19.99) for some, just as the puzzles start to get more challenging, the game is over. Fans of puzzle games may want to check out Solo: Islands of the Heart, but those who are expecting a major challenge will probably want to look elsewhere.
Unless recently divorced and/or identifying as non-binary, I have a hard time envisioning that many will get $19.99 worth of fun here. Solo, while having its heart in the right place, would have been better off as a visual novel. As a short game, it just doesn't have enough focus on its aesthetics, camera, puzzles, or optimal porting.