Conflicting feelings, broken hearts.
Springloaded is a fresh face on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Their last release, Space Lift Danger Panic, caught me by surprise and was loads of fun to toy around with. When I heard another game was coming over to the handheld, I got immediately pumped and was ready for action. Heart Beaten was weirder than I expected it to be and went a step beyond the dialogue in Space Lift Danger Panic. That doesn't mean that Heart Beaten is as great as its predecessor though, because the title left me unshaken.
Heart Beaten is all about breaking a single guy's heart as he gets rejected by every girl he meets. To make the hurt extra painful, you will break his literal heart in an over-th-top minigame. These small games see you tapping on the heart to make it explode, chopping it into bits or destroying it in an R-Type-like experience. Each of the minigames uses the touchscreen or the buttons in simple ways, and it doesn't take long before you know what to do.
While the 15 minigames are hilarious the first few times, they lose their appeal all too fast. The goal on each game is to reach 10.000 points, which isn't hard to do on most. There were a few entries that really tested my patience, like a game where I had to drive into a heart, but I really learned as I moved along. While the games didn't blow me away, they weren't bad either. I think what kills it for me is that beyond the initial goals, there is not really a reason to play the games more. Leaderboards are nowhere to be found, which could have potentially kept me engaged longer. There were also two or three games that were quite similar to one another, but that didn't bother me as much.
I am easy to win over with retro-styled graphics and Heart Beaten really caught me in that regard. The pixelated environments and the hearts in particular are quite striking, which makes the game fun to look at. The 3D also adds some nice layering to the whole experience, so they did try their darnest. The soundtrack has a couple of chiptune songs, but they aren't anything amazing. They fit the bill and serve the purpose of being background music, which is good enough I reckon.
After everything is said and done, I sort of feel indifferent about Heart Beaten. It really isn't a badly made game, but it simply doesn't last or can keep the player engaged for long. That is a shame, because I was laughing and enjoying myself in the opening moments. The controls are simple yet effective and Heart Beaten's presentation is nice enough at the very least. If the concepts were expanded upon and the whole game was a bit less quick-fire focused, Heart Beaten could have been a winner in my book.