Haven (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure game
Developer: The Game Bakers
Publisher: The Game Bakers
Platform: Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: Switch

Haven (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Beautiful visuals
Bad: Writing is inconsistent
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Haven launched last year on a variety of platforms and now arrives on Switch and PS4. This title, developed by The Game Bakers, piqued our interest purely based on its visual appeal. There is no doubt that Haven features gorgeous aesthetics and fantastic character designs, but how does the gameplay hold up? We took a look at this indie adventure title to find out whether the story of protagonists Yu and Kay is worth exploring.


Haven tells the story of young lovers Yu and Kay, who are fugitives. In the future Haven is set in, there are certain rules when it comes to choosing a partner. The protagonist pair fell in love though, and as their affection towards one another doesn’t mesh with these rules, they were forced to flee their society in order to be together. Their ship crashed however, and Yu and Kay are now stuck on Source, a deserted planet. Early on in Haven, we meet the protagonist as they try to make the best of their situation, gathering resources and working on restoring their ship. As you’d expect, things quickly go wrong, however, and Yu and Kay soon find themselves having to deal with an ecological disaster that threatens Source.

The narrative’s core is formed around the relationship between Yu and Kay. It’s a bold choice to do this, and it doesn’t always pay off. The dialogue between the pair often comes across as forced and can be too lovey-dovey at times, but the excellent voice acting surpasses the less than stellar writing and makes the characters come across as very likable. There is a heavy amount of story content, and you’ll have to make choices from time to time. These influence character growth and the flow of the relationship between Yu and Kay. The content is delivered through visual novel styled cutscenes. These never break up the flow of the game and are a core element of Haven’s experience.


For the most part, Haven is a visual treat. The colors of Source make for a pleasing pastel palette that feels alien yet familiar, and the character illustrations for Yu and Kay add some personality to the protagonist pair. The game’s gorgeous opening movie is probably worth the price of entry by itself. Where Haven’s visuals fall flat, however, is in the 3D character models. These feel of lesser quality compared to the rest of the game, but fortunately, they will be in the background during dialogue scenes, with the lavish character illustrations taking the foreground. Additionally, while you’re zooming around Source, you’ll probably be focusing more on the action than on the character models, so it’s easy to overlook how flawed these models are, but it’s still worth a mention.


To our delight, Haven features full voice acting. Despite the stilted writing, the two lead voice actors for Yu and Kay manage to bring their characters to life convincingly. The performances turn the protagonists into characters you genuinely grow attached to during the 15-hour journey that Haven provides. Musically, Haven keeps things safe with a soundtrack that fits the game’s overall atmosphere. Developer The Game Bakers boasts that the soundtrack was created by renowned electro musician DANGER, and if you watched the opening movie, which we linked in the graphics section, you should have a decent idea of what the game’s OST is like. Sound effects are decent but don’t take any risks either, and the sound quality is crisp.


It’s quite difficult to explain Haven from a gameplay perspective as the game combines elements from various genres to deliver a unique experience. The core experience is that of an action-adventure title, featuring turn-based combat, visual novel-style storytelling and fast-paced sections that see you flying across the vast areas of Source. Your goal is to cleanse the planet of the rust that covers both the environment and the animals that inhabit this alien world, as well as gather the necessary resources to get your ship space-worthy again.

Moving across Source is mostly done by flying across the planet’s surface. Flying around Source is one of the game’s key elements, as clearing away rust from the environment involves flying over the rust-covered surfaces you encounter. Controlling Yu or Kay’s movement during flight feels tight and accurate, and the available acrobatic abilities such as drifting or turning on the spot truly make zooming around Source feel satisfying. You’ll need to keep an eye on your Flow energy, which is replenished by chasing energy streams. This energy can then be used in a variety of ways, such as temporary speed boosts, but its main usage is as a tool to clear rust.

While you are clearing rust, you’ll also run into animals that have become infected. In order to cleanse the rust-infected fauna of Source, you’ll need to engage with them in turn-based combat. Unfortunately, Haven’s combat system is probably the game’s biggest flaw as it is incredibly easy once you figure out exactly how it works, leaving you with fights that are more tedious than fun, especially in two player mode. The issue here is that when one character is shielding, the shield will work for both players, allowing the other character to attack freely with weak attacks. Once the enemy has been weakened enough, both players can then cooperate to perform a more powerful attack, taking out the enemy with little effort. There are two types of power attack, with each enemy immune to one type. Once you figure out what attack they take damage from, you’re left with an unexciting and tedious fight. Beating the enemy will then pacify them, essentially returning them to their pre-rust form.

Apart from the rust-clearing and combat mechanics, which make up the bulk of Haven’s gameplay, you’ll also spend quite some time on your ship. Here you’ll find simple item crafting mechanics, as well as a variety of mundane activities that act as a way to break up the game’s frantic pace and that aid in deepening the relationship between Yu and Kay. Deepening this relationship is an important feature as the more in sync the pair are, the better they’ll perform when fighting together, among other things. You won’t have to bother worrying about min-maxing your stat growth however, as this is automated for the most part and characters will grow naturally depending on the choices you make during gameplay. Haven isn’t a difficult game -this is emphasized by the blurb when you’re setting the game’s difficulty level- and instead offers a relatively slow-paced and relaxing game experience. If you’re expecting a true action-adventure title, you’ll end up disappointed, but if you’re looking for a story-driven title with light action elements, there is a lot to like here.


With its low difficulty and heavy focus on the relationship between its protagonists, Haven won’t appeal to everyone. Yu and Kay make for interesting protagonists, and are brought to life through beautiful artwork and fantastic voice work, even if the writing for these characters isn’t always consistent. Still, the overall narrative is engaging, and the gameplay is relaxing if a bit repetitive. As a game, Haven offers mostly style over substance, but the style presented here is fantastic and turns Haven from an average title into a good game worth taking a look at.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Haven (Switch) - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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