Top Critic Average
Solo: Islands of the Heart stands out as one of the only games I can think of which alters it's narrative towards your own personal experiences. As such, it was really interesting to play through and receive a personalised story at the end which was built around my past situations and feelings towards an old relationship. If this was it, I would be happy with it, but it's not – there's also a lot of clever puzzles which require you to think and perform a lot of trial and error in order to solve.
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.
WORTH CONSIDERING - Solo: Islands of the Heart is an introspective journey to question how you love and understand different ways it can manifest. Filled with light puzzle elements and exploration, this game can be relaxing and is more of a walking simulator than anything else. The $20 asking price is a bit steep for the content included.
Based in Madrid, Team Gotham are a team of five who have, since 2014, developed four games. Two of these are available free via GameJolt: no ONE and Fidelio, another can be found on Steam under the name, The Guest, and the latest title, SOLO: Islands of the Heart, is now made a home on the Nintendo Switch. With home consoles being a goal of theirs, Solo represents a significant moment for the team, and we were keen to see how it fared.
Solo: Islands of the Heart sets out to be a provocative journey about love. While it does do a fairly good job at making players really think and boast a beautiful visual design, the gameplay is executed in a mediocre fashion.
I admire Solo: Islands of the Heart for its ambition, but virtually every aspect of the game falls short of the noble goals of making an introspective puzzle game centered on love and relationships. The narrative is limited and mildly antagonistic, the block puzzle gameplay transforms into a disaster once the magic staff is introduced, and the serenity of the islands and graphics are dragged down by a middling port to Switch. If you really want someone to question your decisions on love, go see a therapist. This isn't the game for that.
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.
The graphics were lovely, the audio was lovely, the game was absolute trash, I feel like I’ve had more brain-stimulating games from a free phone app, I probably won’t ever load this back up on my Switch because I can’t bear to play it any longer. In terms of buying Solo: Islands Of The Heart as it is, I’d probably not even bother doing that, get yourself some paint with the money and paint your walls, let it dry, watch it whilst it dries I promise you it’s much more fun. I’m going to give Solo: Islands Of The Heart a platitrash (trash) award, meaning it’s probably one of the worst games I’ve reviewed yet.