Where the Heart Leads – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure game, Narrative driven
Developer: Armature Games
Publisher: Armature Studio
Platform: PS4
Tested on: PS4

Where the Heart Leads – Review

Site Score
Good: Amazing narrative, Great soundtrack
Bad: Flow can be a bit off, Camera controls are annoying
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

As recently as 2012, author John Koening in his journey to invent terms for emotions that currently lacked words to express them came up with ‘sonder’. Sonder is the feeling we as humans get when we see others and realize they – like every stranger in this world – have a life as infinitely complex and layered as our own, one we will never know of or be part of. Where The Heart Leads as a narrative experience manages to evoke that same emotion perfectly, delving in-depth into the meaning our lives have and the mundane choices we make in them that still have the power to significantly change ourselves and our loved ones.


You play the game as Whit Anderson, devoted husband, and father of two beautiful children. He lives on a farm with his family but is rudely awakened one night by some kind of earthquake. A sinkhole has opened up and the family’s dog Casey managed to stumble into it. In an effort to save her, Whit descends into the hole and while Casey is saved, Whit himself falls into the dark depths. Where he finds himself is a surreal subterranean world on the edge of dream and memory. He has to make his way up back to his family while confronting the story of his life both in the past, present, and future.

The plot is the selling point for Where The Heart Leads, with the narrative taking front and center for the majority of the game. The story is well-written and all the characters are compelling and sympathetic, so overall they’ve done a great job. The flow could do with some improvement, sometimes scenes end up feeling too meandering while at other times going way too fast to sink in on an emotional level. Nonetheless, it stays one hell of a ride you won’t soon forget.


Where The Heart Leads utilizes an interesting water-color-inspired art style. This style works especially well for the surreal parts of the game, leaning into the crumbling border between the memories you explore and reality. Sadly the visuals do not always come to their right since the game’s camera moves quite far away from the environment(s) and isn’t always as easy to control as it should be. It’s a minor gripe, but still annoying when you’re trying to enjoy the game to its full extent.


As well-written as Where The Heart Leads is, the game wouldn’t manage to be half as poignant if it had a different soundtrack. The instrumental tracks really manage to pull you into the emotions Whit experiences and are just extremely nice and relaxing to listen to overall. Despite there being a lot of dialogue in the game, there is no voice acting, so be prepared to do your fair share of reading.


Where the Heart Leads is an adventure game that asks us a very simple question: if you had the chance to change your past, would you take it? As you travel through the sinkhole and uncover more of Whit’s life, and that of the small town he grew up in, you are often presented with choices. These choices are simple and their consequences are not always clear-cut. Maybe something as silly as spending more time with your brother than your father can greatly alter the direction your relationships take.

Aside from these choices though, there’s not that much gameplay to speak of. You have an inventory system and some simple puzzles are solved by picking up items and using them on different occasions, but overall the game resembles a walking simulator more than anything else, forcing you to move from place to place between the memories of Whit’s life without much interactivity. Even when there is, it’s mostly just holding a single button down until a bar fills up to complete an action.

The many choices in the game do lead to a multitude of endings though, and unlike some games that use this gimmick, your choices do feel like they make a real difference in Where the Heart Leads. Across the chapters you can discover optional letters and other memories that supply you even more background information for the already well-developed and rich characters you encounter in this game, buffing up the playtime significantly.


Where the Heart Leads manages to tell a deep, relatable story from the get-go. The characters are the heart of this game, and it’s clear the devs knew that when writing them. Visually it’s great and the music helps too, making the smaller issues such as camera controls or awkward pacing easy to overlook, to enjoy the greater experience this game offers.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Where the Heart Leads - Review, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Games are my escape and writing is my passion.

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