There are cute things, and then there are adorable things, and then there's Where is my Heart?. This experimental indie platformer transcends the known boundaries of cuteness to such a dramatic extent that even tiny baby hippos like this one pale in comparison. Beneath that deliriously endearing aesthetic, however, lies a truly unique and captivating design philosophy.
The game, available for free to PlayStation Plus members on Nov. 8 and to everyone else for $6.99 on Nov. 22, is based on a somewhat traumatic episode experienced by Die Gute Fabrik designer Bernie Schulenburg: While on a hiking trip, Bernie and his parents became lost in the woods, the stress of the ordeal highlighting their various personality shortcomings.
Serving as a metaphor for the event, Where is my Heart? tells the tale of a family of monsters searching for their lost Heart Tree, wherein all three monsters must work together in order to progress through the wilderness. The game's screen is divided into sections, forming a stained glass windowpane of gameplay scenery which may or may not be directly connected to the adjacent panels. What's more, these panels rearrange themselves, heightening the player's sense of disorientation and serving as a visual metaphor for the emotional confusion the story represents. It sounds like an endearing, poetic work of art; here's hoping that ends up being the case.