Ocean’s Heart is a Zelda-like, in the sense that it’s a 2D, top-down sword swinger in the vein of Link To The Past. That means you’ll never see the kind of vista that’s in its key art (top left, above). You’ll never see that beautiful blue sky. And yet, and yet, I cannot resist the promise of a piece of art like that. I click on every game that uses it.
Ocean’s Heart really is a Zelda-like. You swing your sword and fire arrows, and descend into dungeons to solve environment puzzles and beat up baddies and open treasure chests. It’s sprite art is really cute, with sweet little marketplaces and rainy plains and strange crow beasts. There’s also crafting and magic shenanigans going on.
But really it’s the key art that drew me to it. It was the same sort of image that first drew me to Genshin Impact late last year, another game that was consciously riffing on Zelda tropes. It’s appealing for fairly obvious reasons. The blue sky, the green, lush landscape, and the promise of interesting places to explore.
Genshin delivered on the fantasy in spades by giving you the ability to climb, meaning you could scale any cliff you thought might you a nice view from the top. There’d usually be a rock or a bench at the top to perch on, too, letting you soak in the vista. Ocean’s Heart’s top-down perspective means it can’t do the same, but the trailer above does have a nice sense of a journey across a vast world.
Ocean’s Heart is out now on Steam and will cost you £13.50/$15/€15.