Ocean’s Heart – Review
Follow Genre: Action, RPG
Developer: Max Mraz
Publisher: Nordcurrent
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Ocean’s Heart – Review

Site Score
Good: Good art and sountrack
Bad: Bland gameplay
User Score
(2 votes)
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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Banking on nostalgia is not a new strategy; plenty of games do it in one way or another. To use this nostalgia to its fullest extent, most developers rely on imitating existing media with plenty of history, few being as good as the Zelda one for this purpose.  Ocean’s Heart takes the original formula of the 2D Zelda games and applies it to itself, under a fresh coat of paint and a few new mechanics.


Ocean’s Heart’s story follows Tilia, a Navy volunteer in search of her father Mallow and her best friend Hazel. These two have been gone for 6 months after Hazel got kidnapped by pirates and Mallow embarked on a rescue mission, leaving Tilia worried to the point where she decided to find them herself.

What follows from here is a wild goose chase, with Tilia asking around each town she visits and finding tiny clues about her father’s location. Along the way she also gets laterally involved in a plot by the Pirate Council to obtain a magical artifact, although this doesn’t concern or affect her until the later part of the game.

As a whole, the game’s story is nothing out of the ordinary; it has been seen before and been done better in other games. It remains mostly a bland and harmless addition to glue the game together and give players a reason to explore the world, although the side-quests arguably do so with quirkier and more entertaining stories and dialogues. The latter are especially good throughout most of the game, with every single NPC having unique lines and often jokes about the genre, though the amount of these can become grating at times.


The game’s graphics are pretty good, with high-quality pixel art and colorful environments with a good amount of variation. All of the different areas are mostly unique in their own way, making them recognizable. The same applies to the enemies found in-game, although these do reappear in different often enough.

There are also some minibosses and bosses which can be found throughout the game, each with unique designs both visually and gameplay-wise. Some of the first can be found several times in the world, although generally linked somehow, such as through side quests or by the general area surrounding them.


Ocean’s Heart’s sound design is pretty decent, although particularly more for its soundtrack than its SFX. Said soundtrack features a good amount of different songs, varied enough to keep them entertaining throughout the whole thing. On the other hand, the sound effects are oftentimes too loud or out of place compared with everything else. For example, character fall sounds coming to mind, despite not being the only ones.


The gameplay featured in Ocean’s Heart is as standard of a classic RPG as it gets, using most mechanics of the classic Zelda games such as a dodge roll, different equipment pieces to solve puzzles, and health increases as secrets. It is by no means a secret where the game gets its influences from, going as far as including Navi, the annoying fairy in the Zelda series, in certain places.

Most of the core gameplay loop of the game relies on running around based on the previously mentioned clues about the location of Tilia’s father. More often than not these consist of a town name and a vague direction, which can get quite confusing due to how open the areas are, and the lack of real directions besides a few signposts.

While running around these maps, different enemies can also be encountered, although fighting them is usually a waste of time, due to the lack of a leveling system. Beating them only consists of spamming the attack button and at times you’ll have to use some of the items Tilia might carry, with damage and defense being upgradeable in towns.

To obtain these items, players must travel through the world and hope to find them in random chests or craft them with ingredients, depending on if they are potions or not. Although most monsters can drop different crafting items, the system is mostly tedious to use and virtually irrelevant, with most craftable potions requiring lots of materials while being for sale in shops at affordable prices.

Combining with this previous point, the game also features the major annoyance of respawning enemies, which reappear upon leaving the area they’re in for a second. With the constant back and forth through different zones, the game provides for both side and main quests, traveling can often become quite tedious. That said, it is true Ocean’s Heart does features a fast travel system which alleviates this issue somewhat, although not enough due to how limited it is.

Following suit to the other weak systems, the game’s so-called puzzles are nothing more than “use this item here”.  Other than a few challenges requiring using bombs as timers, most others only rely on having the item required to progress, rather than provide you with an actual puzzle to solve.

Unluckily enough, the game’s mapping system doesn’t help make a better case for its “puzzles”. Showing nothing besides town names and general positions, the map available in-game doesn’t provide any specific position for encountered secrets or challenges, thus making the player trudge through, attempting to find them again.


While Ocean’s Heart is by no means a bad game, it is quite a bland one. With a boring story and repetitive gameplay loop, it has little to offer besides a 2D Zelda clone for those looking to scratch an itch. At a selling point of $14.99/14,99€/£13.49, the game is not particularly expensive for approximately 12 hours of gameplay it offers, counting the side-quests. Although the enjoyment you get out of these may vary.

Personal Opinion

“I found Ocean’s Heart to be massively boring. Not bad, just boring. The story was completely predictable and mostly leaves players focused on an irrelevant mission while the world otherwise moves around them. The combat consisted of spamming the attack button and the dungeons were the same few mechanics but with different set-ups. While I didn’t hate it, I was more interested in the videos I started watching a few hours into it than in the game itself. That said, someone with a keen interest in Zelda-like games may find this one enjoyable.”

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Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
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Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Ocean's Heart - Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No longer writing for the site, pursuing other things.

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