Having your heart broken is one of the most devastating life experiences. But what about having your heart put in a blender and made into a smoothie? Now you can find out what that's like in this ridiculous WarioWare-style mini-game collection.
Heart Beaten is played by obtaining high scores in various mini-games. As you play each one, it becomes faster and more difficult so being able to top your previous efforts may not be as easy as you think. These games are controlled by the touch screen and various buttons and they all work quite well. Some may take a few attempts to understand how to play, but once you figure it out then you're good to go. Every time you initiate a game, the lead character falls in love with another girl. These girls are all named after video game characters which adds even more levity to the equation. Anyway, he must be a real jerk because girls almost instantly break up with him. It's kind of confusing who you're playing as. I guess it's the girls since all of the games are about violently destroying the boy's heart. So, does that mean the only persistent character in the game is the antagonist? Who cares? Let's break that smitten chump's heart!
The game is presented as a series of 8 and 16-bit segments. It looks good, but it's also nothing spectacular. The boy's heart is animated as if it's his actual heart and not some cartoony ideogram that you would probably expect. This makes the ensuing violence even more hilarious to the point where you start to feel bad for the little guy. One thing that Heart Beaten succeeds in is its soundtrack and effects. The chiptunes are excellent as they represent classic game scores superbly. Effects are well done as they add satisfaction to even the most humdrum mini-game. Overall, it may look generic and a bit nutty, but the audio sure packs a punch.
Heart Beaten consists of fifteen mini-games. It saddens me to say that the majority of them are unsatisfying and monotonous. These games will have you mindlessly tap on the screen, push left or right to Whac-A-Heart, string together button combinations, and time dropping bombs to land on our poor boy's heart. On the other hand, a few mini-games are actually enjoyable and inspired such as extending a hammer to just the right length to smash hearts, plugging in blenders to multiple coloured sockets, and the final game which will have you focus on both screens to protect a couple of hearts for a change. These few games are the highlight of this package, but that's not all. There are also a few retro-influenced games that mimic Duck Hunt, R-Type, and Spy Hunter. In the end, you get a mixed bag of fifteen boring, interesting, and classic games, but it simply doesn't feel like enough.
Finally, I'll address a couple of issues that I encountered while playing. I achieved a fairly high score in one mini-game and noticed that my total score didn't increase. This is crucial because that's how further games are unlocked. I tried again and outdid myself and still it didn't increase. As a last resort, I deleted my save and started all over again and the score still didn't count. This leads me to believe that this game's score just doesn't factor in to your total for some reason. Also, I came across plenty of frustrating moments with the most notable happening during the Spy Hunter game. Basically, sometimes I spawned right on top of an oil slick which ended my life immediately. How is that fair? Glitches like this make some of the games require more luck than skill and that's unacceptable.
Heart Beaten is a silly game that'll make you crack up from time to time. However, there isn't enough content to hold your attention for more than one sitting and when you factor in all of the bugs, it ends up being a charming yet ultimately flawed package.
- + Great use of humour and game references
- + Cool soundtrack and audio effects
- + A few mini-games are quite interesting, enjoyable, and challenging
- - One mini-game's score doesn't count
- - Only contains 15 incredibly short games
- - Most mini-games are overly simplistic, too glitchy, or downright frustrating