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Heal: Console Edition review for PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One, Switch


Platform: PS5
Also on: PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Developer: Jesse Makkonen
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

Heal: Console Edition is…interesting.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I mean that in a good way or a bad way. Heal is a short, artsy puzzle game that occasionally seems to require that you either a) guess until you get the solution, or b) be keenly attuned to the developer’s own particular way of thinking. In the past I’ve had some strong feelings about games like this, but in Heal’s case, I don’t find myself reacting quite as negatively.

In part this is because of the length. Heal can be Platinumed in under an hour, and fully beaten in about two. You’re not going to be spending days and days trying to figure out everything the game asks of you, which is always a plus. Some of the puzzles may be bizarre, but they’re mixed in amongst the more straightforward ones, and the game never goes too hard one way or another.

Further, Heal’s aesthetic adds to its level of interesting-ness. See, it was created by Jesse Makkonen, who also created the Distraint games. While I admittedly wasn’t a huge fan of the second one (after liking the first), he undeniably has a pretty clear vision and style, and that comes through in Heal. It’s slightly unsettling while still being nice to look at, and it makes for an experience that’s definitely unique.

As I said up, though: good unique? Bad unique? Even after finishing it, I’m still not sure. Still, leaving me feeling so uncertain must be a sign Heal is doing something right, and for that reason, I’d probably recommend puzzle fans check it out.

Ratalaika Games provided us with a Heal: Console Edition PS4/PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+