4.0 out of 5


  • Unique, expansive, interactive dialogue
  • Music and art
  • Gliding mechanic
  • Vibrant and unique creatures


  • Camera adjustment during drifting/gliding
  • Confusing map and navigation
  • Limited backpack

Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
The Game Bakers
The Game Bakers
Adventure, RPG
File Size (Minimum)
3.0 GB
Release Date (NA)
Dec 3, 2020

The Game Bakers is an independent game studio located above a bakery in France. They’ve developed a large number of well-known games such as Furi, the Squids series, and Combo Crew. Their latest title is Haven, a role-playing game (RPG) where players explore a mysterious planet and love.

It was originally released in December 2020, exclusively for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X\S, Xbox One, and PC. It was later released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in February 2021. The main heroes are two lovers named Yu and Kai who escaped the troubles of their previous planet, only to crash land on a mysterious planet far away.

Broken but Close

Haven - Screenshot

The story follows two lovers—Yu, a skillful and spirited mechanic, and Kai, a skillful and grounded scientist—after they left their previous lives on a different planet behind and escaped to a lost planet called the Source. Their crashed spaceship, called the Nest, is their newfound home as they explore the planet, with its floating islets, in search of parts to repair their ship and better understand what caused the planet to fragment. They also investigate the reason for the abandonment of a previous civilization’s infrastructure.

Throughout the 10-to-12 hour game, Yu and Kai glide through a magical landscape full of unique plants, creatures, mountainous fragmented terrain, and mystery. The game also allows players to experience various aspects of a growing, mature romantic relationship between the two characters. This includes activities such as cooking, battling foes, camping, and gathering resources.

Going with the Flow

Haven - Screenshot

Gliding and drifting are the staples of moving around each islet, and that’s done with the help of a light blue energy source called flow. It powers your anti-gravity boots along with other abilities like flow burst, which can open blue-lit doors and stun nearby foes, and helps with clearing out rust, a reddish muck on islets. There are numerous light blue trails to follow along from start to finish, where you can absorb the flow energy. These flow trails can allow the characters to fly in the air for a short distance to reach locations that were unreachable by other means. Drifting helps smooth out turns in the flow to avoid breaking the stream, which can reduce the amount of flow absorbed.

Overall, gliding and drifting around is smooth and is a relaxing way to explore the planet. There are a few times where the camera tends to have an odd pitch or just swivels erratically, making it difficult to follow certain flow patterns through the air. Although slightly easier on a docked Nintendo Switch, this core mechanic functions smoothly both in docked and handheld mode.

Bridges and Beyond

Haven - Screenshot

While gliding allows the characters to cover quite a bit of area, there are other means of traveling across the map. Each ‘islet’ or zone is generally connected by one or more flow bridges which each function as a portal to reach a different but specific location. Some portals are not available early in the game and may need to be activated through game progression, such as learning how to use a flow energy burst or finding a special, bouncy, plump, ginseng root-like creature to activate certain spots of flow glowing through a crack/hole in the ground.

Another, more unique means of travel is through a special, large, neon green/pink flying creature. These beasts need to be baited at certain locations on the map with a special food recipe. Once lured, it can transport Yu and Kai to any area that has been visited and fully cleared of rust. Along with flow bridges, it makes movement across the map much easier as the game progresses.

Speaking of the map, while there is a brief introduction to it later in the game, the explanation is a bit lacking. It does not completely explain how to interpret the map or reveal which portal to go through to reach a particular location. Through trial and error, it becomes a bit clearer that as the character gets near a flow bridge, the line on the map changes from a single line into three lines. Additionally, the map shown in the tutorial portion is the main map under the UI screens. However, there is also a mini-map that can be brought up while gliding around the islet which makes it easier to move around.

Clearing the Rust

Haven - Screenshot

Early in the game, it becomes apparent that a material called rust covers some of the islet you’re on and that it impacts the availability of resources and transforms the creatures into more aggressive foes (as shown by their glowing red colors). As you clear out the rust using flow, the landscape reveals its natural coloring and vegetation. There are a certain number of lighter-colored, bubbling areas of rust that the characters must go through to clear it from the islet. (You can obtain the various deposits of rust from those bubbling spots.) Once the rust has been completely cleared from the islet, it prevents any further spawning of the rust material. Clearing rust requires flow energy, which, as described earlier, sometimes requires recharging by following flow trails.

The rust deposits’ resources come in various types, such as crude, fine, and shiny rusts. These are critical in repairing the damage done to the Nest and in crafting capsules to augment battle skills. Repairing the Nest generally requires one ship piece and several different deposits types of certain amounts. With excessive rust deposits, capsules can be crafted within the Nest and used during battle to grant extra offensive or defensive skills.

Food and Garden

Haven - Screenshot

Numerous plant resources can be gathered such as boba nut or appledew for the purpose of cooking food or rattlepepper or helicap for making medicine. Each islet possesses precious few of these plants, so it may require visiting several different areas to gather enough resources (which thankfully occur naturally during game progression). In the gathering of these plants, the characters may discover plant seeds. These unlock part of the garden near the Nest, so you can grow all these plants in one place.

There are four different plants for cooking versus medicine creation which can be combined in different ways. As the game progresses, these plant resources become available to use for crafting and cooking. Cooking occurs in the Nest and at campsites to restore some HP to the characters and, based upon the recipe, gives varying amounts of XP as well.

In order to create medicinal products, plant products have to be combined using the synthesize action within the Nest. For example, combining three rattlepeppers and three rattlepeppers creates pepperpills which heal 60 HP, whereas combining three rattlepeppers and three helicaps make a Torika balm which recovers 90 HP. Initially, healing can only occur in the Nest and at campsites. Later in the game, though, healing balms may be utilized outside of those areas. However, the game only allows up to six items to be taken with each trip outside the Nest, including healing items and meals. The limited backpack inventory often forces the characters to constantly return to the Nest to replenish healing supplies.

Like in any RPG, each character has a certain amount of HP that may decrease after battles. While pausing on the map, the characters will briefly glow blue, yellow, or red to signify the amount of HP left (e.g., red means you’re in bad shape), helping you gauge when to heal up. Sometimes, hugs or kisses can be activated while exploring, which can generate some healing as well.

Colorful Creatures

Haven - Screenshot

The creatures found across Source are colorful and unique. You’ll see neon pink and blue lizards with a mushroom on their backs, orange and neon pink large fox-like creatures with wings, and giant neon green/pink winged creatures. Many of these alien beasts can be interacted with in various capacities, such as petting or whistling. One of the better responses was causing one particular ostrich-like creature to fall over! Certain beasts, such as flying neon green and pink winglike creatures or the brown plump ginseng root-like creature, can help with moving around or unlocking flow bridges.

Naturally, all these creatures tend to be friendly. However, when they interact with the rust, they become aggressive. While contaminated with rust, they will pursue Yu and Kai as they travel and engage in battles once they get close enough. Upon defeating these creatures, they can be pacified back into their docile, original states.

Blootin’ Battling

Haven - Screenshot

Early in the game, the battle component is pretty simple, with the left d-pad controlling one character and the buttons controlling the other. It starts with four actions—pacify, blast, impact, and shield—that must be charged up by holding down the button and released to activate. Blast, a ranged energy attack, and impact, a close range attack, are useful for damaging foes. However, many enemies may be more vulnerable to one attack versus another, so be aware. Shield allows one character to protect both characters from an upcoming attack, reducing the damage taken. That said, that character is unable to attack until the shield is broken. Finally, pacify is performed once the enemy is defeated in order to free it of the rust, although waiting too long before pacifying it allows the foe to return to battle again.

Later in the game, battles become more complex and require more coordination between the characters, which is achievable in both solo and co-op modes. If both characters use the blast skill, it charges a move called duo blast which deals extra damage. These coordinated attacks require timing to optimize the amount of damage dealt. Later in the game, these can be upgraded to allow for longer charges which deal even more damage but at a greater risk (e.g., higher charge levels take more time and have narrower release windows). When one character’s HP reaches zero in battle, the other character can use a skill called aide that is charged up two tiers, which revives and restores HP based upon the charged level used. Defeating some bosses requires certain move combinations to be used or used in certain sequences. For example, one character must use shield to block a strong attack, while the other uses a blast move as the boss recovers after said strong attack. It can be tricky, but with timing and effort, you’ll bring them down.

Applebrews and XP News

Haven - Screenshot

Consistent with many RPGs, there is an XP progression system. In this game, it’s shown by a colorful, swirly lined symbol and progression bar. Each time this bar fills up, it will show two glasses, which marks a level up by the characters. XP can be obtained from various actions, such as battling, engaging in conversations, and cooking. In contrast to other, more traditional RPGs, there is more of an emphasis on conversations versus battling in regards to leveling up.

After each level up, the Applebrew machine in the Nest’s kitchen creates alcohol brews from appledews. Activating it proceeds to a unique dialogue and activity between Yu and Kai. At the conclusion of the scene, it will show the characters’ stats and show which one gained the level up, such as increasing the maximum HP, improving individual or duo attack skills, and the like. Of note, the game saves progression automatically after certain special scenes and whenever the characters enter the Nest or a flow bridge.

Unique and Charming Dialogue

Haven - Screenshot

The relationship and conversations between Yu and Kai is rather mature and full of interesting interactions between the two characters. The emphasis on their relationship growth as the game progresses creates an immersive experience in which choices by the user impacts the dialogue. The backstory is slowly revealed through the various discussions between them across differing scenarios, such as sleeping, camping under the starlit sky, or while sharing applebrews.  In addition to providing backstory details, there is plenty of comedic teasing back and forth, which helps create light-hearted moments in between the more serious romantic/backstory scenes.

Flow-tracks and Style

The game features a unique soundtrack by an electro musician named Danger. It ranges from upbeat techno-like music during battle or during map exploration to slower peaceful or mysterious electronic/synthesizer songs when camping or having conversations. It’s quite the listen.

The artwork is quite impressive throughout the game. The planet’s landscape is full of vibrant colors which shift depending upon time of day. During the dialogue between Yu and Kai, there are anime depictions of the characters on either side of the dialogue box. Moreover, while some games show simplistic loading screens, Haven offers a countless number of cheeky depictions of Yu and Kai, showing the characters cooking, picking out clothes, playing video games together, etc. The starting menu introduction video is also an impressive spectacle of vibrant lights and artwork showing off the characters and the gameplay.

A Wholesome Experience

Overall, Haven delivers an immersive and wholesome experience. The mature relationship between Yu and Kai hits the mark, the dialogue is great, the glide/flight mechanic is unique, and the soundtrack is vibrant. There is also a decent amount of gameplay (10-12 hours without too much exploration) with the right balance of difficulty whether playing solo or with a partner. It just all comes together to create a peaceful and enjoyable game. So come to Planet Source for a great getaway for two.

A review code for the Nintendo Switch provided by the publisher.

Haven Launch Trailer

About Patrick Schmees - Contributor

Always up for new challenges and adventures in life. During my past time, I enjoy hiking, hanging out with friends, and fishing. I have been enjoying playing video games with my brothers since I was little playing Atari at my grandpas house. I enjoy playing all types of games across various platforms (Switch, PC, PS)

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