Heave Ho (Switch, PC)

In this game, you control a critter who is just a head with two arms sticking out.  You move these guys in a 2-D area, and use the L and R sticks to wave their arms.  When their hands are near a platform, you can hold down the L or R shoulder buttons to make them grab on to it.  Then you can swing around to nearby platforms, or even launch them and use their trajectory to reach faraway ones.  In a way it kind of reminds me of DK: King of Swing and Jungle Climber.  You must help these creatures reach a bowl-shaped goal to pass the level.  Heave Ho is available to download on Nintendo Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

When you start, you’ll be able to customize your little guy with different skin colors, hats, facial features, and more.  Then you can choose two modes of play: Solo and Cooperative.  Solo is obviously, when you play by yourself.  But in the co-op mode, up to four can play and work together to make it to the goal.  You can grab onto each other’s hands and swing each other around and even throw them to reach other platforms.  Most of the levels in solo and co-op are the same, but there are a few different ones here and there.  You’ll really need a lot of teamwork and patience to finish all the levels in co-op mode!

One interesting difference is co-op mode is the addition of coins.  You can collect one coin per level, and if you bring it to the goal, you’ll get it.  But it’s easier said than done because you have to hold onto it with one of your hands, leaving you with only one other hand for climbing around.  I don’t see how you can do it!  But if you do manage to get a coin, you can use it at a special vending machine in the menus to unlock even more outfits for your characters.  Other things you can do in the menus are view trophies, toggle options, and see credits.

The only main problem I had with the game is that it’s WAY too hard!  If you fall off, you’ll have to start at the beginning of the screen again, and it’s harder with more players.  It can also be pretty tricky to tell you left hand from your right hand, and for this reason they did add special gloves you can wear in the game that help you tell the hands apart, so I recommend using those at all times.  But if you can look past the high difficulty, Heave Ho may be a good game to bring out at parties and such.

Kid Factor:

Heave Ho is rated E for Everyone with an ESRB descriptor of Mild Fantasy Violence.  If you fall off the screen, a big splatter of liquid that’s the same color as you will splat onto the screen and stick to any platforms for a while, but that’s as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, but not necessary just to play.  Younger gamers may find it a bit too difficult, however, it’s a bit of a stretch, but although I guess the game might be considered somewhat educational because it can help them differentiate between their left and right hands!

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