“A game about… moving forward in life?”
The characters of .heartbeats must face their fears in order to move forward in life. The game tells the story of four characters in four different moments in life,each of them represented by a heartbeat.
Xavier: a teenager facing depression.
Raoul: a young man regretting his errors in life.
Maria: An adult woman looking back on her life choices.
Girl: a mysterious kid who takes part in the story somehow.
Now… how do I play this game? This is what everybody wonders.
The game is about decision making, and plays like an interactive storybook, where you live each of the characters’ stories and help them decide on their outcomes.
In order to activate the player’s imagination, the visual aspect is handled in a minimalistic way, yet giving strong feedback on each character’s mood by playing different music tracks and sound effects.
There’s a Tips section that appears once you have attained your first ending. In here, details about the story and characters will pop up. While playing, depending on which branches you follow, you main unlock keywords. These words will add paragraphs to the Tips section, telling you tidbits of information on the story and helping you make the right choices.
The different Heartbeats play as indicators of each character’s chance of living or dying. Should a heart beat too fast, then the character may trigger another person’s death. Should it beat too slowly, then he or she will die.
Decisions and Endings
Each characters’ story may end in three different ways: them being “sad”, “normal” and “best”. According to the way each of the stories end, the game may also end with a “sad” ending (if one of the characters die), a “normal” one (if everybody survives) or a “best” one (if everyone overcomes their problems).
In order to get the best ending, you may have to explore some of the story branches, learning more about each character. For instance, knowing about Xavier’s family may help you understand his problems, or getting to know more about Maria’s accident will help her remember more about her past. Don’t worry about covering all of the branches; just try selecting a couple of options, enjoy discovering what happens to each character and read the Tips section. And if you try, you will get the best ending.