In Heave Ho, your goal is simple: use your arms to climb, swing, and stretch your way from Point A to Point B. Avoid spikes at all costs, and if you fall, try to grab something sturdy on your way down! Play alone or with up to 3 friends via couch co-op. Friends make it easier to grab collectibles like coins, which are used at The Machine to unlock costumes. Costumes include generic looks like Santa, a mummy, and a pirate, plus Devolver-Digital-inspired looks borrowed from classics like Gris, Enter the Gungeon, and more! Customize your appearance each time you start a new run. Choose a pre-arranged costume, curate a specific look, or go with a random shuffle.
While Heave Ho’s controls are fairly simple, they can be confusing if you’re not careful. First, stretch out your arms by pushing the joystick. Then, use L / ZL and R / ZR to clench and unclench your fists. Pressing L / ZL controls your left hand, while pressing R / ZR controls your right hand. (During our playtesting, we found that ZR and ZL work better than L and R. They’re more responsive and easier to hold.) Clench your character’s fists to grab things, and unclench to let go. (Duh!)
You can grab coins, cling to safe surfaces, clasp your friends, and even hold onto your own body. To move through each level, you’ll need to grab with one hand, grab with your other hand, let go of your first hand, and repeat. To help keep things straight, your hands are color-coded and labeled with their corresponding controls, but even so, you might occasionally forget which hand you’re trying to control and which button you’re needing to press. Just try to take things slowly and think things through.
You’ll encounter plenty of unique biomes, including jungles, caves, and a mountainous landscape inspired by Mt. Fuji. You’ll also be introduced to new mechanics, like tricky swinging ropes and dangerous electrical currents. The challenge intensifies quickly, and after one or two runs, you might find yourself stuck unless you have a friend or two (or three) to help you along the way. It’s also worth noting that coins can’t be collected within levels in single-player mode. This isn’t an issue for us, but it could definitely pose a problem for players who can’t play with friends in-person. However, coins can also be collected in bonus games that pop up occasionally during playthroughs.
Heave Ho offers the quality indie experience we’ve come to expect and love from Devolver Digital. From colorful graphics to a playful soundtrack and smooth mechanics, every facet of this game is on-point. Our only qualm is that coins and costumes are difficult to collect in single-player mode. Heave Ho is at its best when played with friends, so grab your pals, pick up some Joy-Con, and get to it!
Platform – Nintendo Switch eShop Download
Developer – Le Cartel Studio
Publisher – Devolver Digital
Genre – Action, Arcade, Platformer, Strategy
Size – 470 MB
Nick and Sarah are the ultimate gaming couple. Nick is a Super Mario Maker 2 enthusiast, but working with Nintendeal has fostered a love for tough-as-nails indies such as Enter the Gungeon, Celeste, and Cuphead. Sarah prefers sim games like Animal Crossing, Don’t Starve, and Stardew Valley, but she challenges herself by grinding Slay the Spire from time to time.