Haven can best be described as a tale of “Romeo and Juliet but they escaped in space,” according to developer and publisher The Game Bakers. The role-playing storyteller follows a couple on an alien planet as they explore the surrounding landscapes and fight to not only survive but also forge their relationship.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, studio co-founder Emeric Thoa stated that Haven is “is mostly inspired by life, my life, our lives and social experiences.” The indie game looks gorgeous (and colorful) and does give off a familiar science-fiction vibe. Thoa though noted that any resemblance to the art style of No Man’s Sky, for example, is purely coincidental.
“Here is a picture that sums up the main inspirations,” said Thoa when asked about the inspiration behind Haven. “As you can see, No Man’s Sky isn’t there, although I do agree that No Man’s Sky concept art kinda share that green-blue scifi vibe. But that’s a coincidence. If I had to give one inspiration for Haven’s planet aesthetic, it would be planet Namek from Dragon Ball Z!”
Haven has no quest logs, at least not in the traditional sense. The game starts off with the two characters Yu and Kay finding their ship completely wrecked on a lost planet. Their journey hence begins with a relatively simple task but which then expands upon exploring the planet itself. “The initial goal of the game is to fix it [ship],” explained Thoa. “But that leads to uncovering more mysteries and threats, which I can’t spoil here, obviously ;-).”
Haven though should not be confused with a game that offers only story-rich experiences. There will be turn-based combat and enemies that change between day and night. “The creatures don’t level up according to the characters,” said Thoa about the enemies the couple has to face. “It’s up to the player to evaluate if they are ready to fight or not. By night there are stronger creatures that look scarier. Later in the game, creatures are more dangerous, you have either to level up a bit, or pack up more items. But you can also avoid most fights in the game. It’s quite easy to adapt the combat experience to your playstyle.”
The Game Bakers had to put in a few character attributes that level up through progress but they do not offer any deep skill trees or paths. “It’s on purpose,” said Thoa. “Haven is supposed to be a break between complicated and feature-heavy games. It’s a chill and sweet romantic adventure where a couple in love fights to stay together. We tried to focus on that before anything else. But yes, the characters do have a few attributes that evolve over time, regarding their fighting abilities or gliding skills.”
Haven offers around 12 hours worth of gameplay for a single playthrough. That only covers the main storyline if players want to rush. Completionists will have to spend a little bit more time on the game.
Haven is coming to both current- and next-generation consoles, as well as Nintendo Switch and PC somewhere in late 2020. The game will run in 60 frames per second at 4K resolution on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.