Couch co-op games don’t seem to come around that often these
days. When they do, the game itself is designed more for a single player with
co-op tacked on or it’s just an experience you have grown bored with. Even in
these cases it is hard to not pass on them for the shared experience alone. It
is such an incredible relief to say that Heave Ho isn’t just another game you
purchase to try and gleam a little bit of that lost nostalgia for couch co-op.
Heave Ho is actually fun it turns out, like had myself and my kids cackling
levels of fun.
Heave Ho is a wonderfully simple platformer from Le Cartel Studio and published by Devolver Digital. The game itself was designed with co-op in mind. With up to four players you goal is to get everyone safely to the checkered flag. The only problem is the deadly pitfalls, and the spikes, and the fact that you have no legs, or a body. You’re just kind of like this groaning head with arms, like a hopeless geodude you can customize. That is the challenge of Heave Ho, you have two hands that can grab onto any surface as well as each other. Using momentum and each other, you slowly work your way towards the finish mostly unscathed. But with the scathing moments comes the hilarity, could be a missed jump, could be a splat into some spikes or it could just be a moment of devilish glee when you let go of someone you are supposed to be helping to see them fall to their doom, as was often the case playing it with my children. The levels themselves gain in difficulty the further you progress into the game, testing your communication skills and joy con work all the way, still even when the challenges get insane the game still remains hilarious, keeping you in it and never feeling frustrated because you are still having fun bashing yourself against that difficulty wall, teasing you at the end by displaying the total number of deaths it took to get you through the level.
Customizing your geodude is just another added touch to the crazy experience that is Heave Ho. Add facial hair, glasses, change up how the grunts and cheers sound, even color. You can later purchase costumes using in game earned coins to make your dude like a cowboy or Egyptian King before watching them explode into a wave of color at the bottom of the screen. Heave Ho shines most when it is played with friends, single player falls a bit flat as the only difference is you are by yourself, save levels just a different strategy. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Heave Ho, exponentially more so when I was able to share the mayhem with my family. At a budget friendly price of $10 on Nintendo Switch and Steam, you would be remiss to not pick up this title, especially if you like games such as Overcooked or Snipperclips, true cooperative experiences meant to be shared with company you enjoy.