Heaven's Vault Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 20 Ratings

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  • Summary: An archaeological narrative adventure with an entire hieroglyphic language to decipher. Sail the rivers of space, explore lost moons, uncover ancient artefacts, and piece together a 5,000-year-old secret. Every answer feeds into a story that adapts around your actions. Will you uncover theAn archaeological narrative adventure with an entire hieroglyphic language to decipher. Sail the rivers of space, explore lost moons, uncover ancient artefacts, and piece together a 5,000-year-old secret. Every answer feeds into a story that adapts around your actions. Will you uncover the path to Heaven’s Vault? Expand

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Heaven's Vault - Decoding Ancient Phrases & Exploring The Nebula
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Apr 17, 2019
    90
    Heaven's Vault is rough around the edges, but its sense of discovery and self-fulfillment are unparalleled thanks to its commitment to player agency and its unique language-translation mechanic.
  2. Apr 16, 2019
    88
    Heaven's Vault communicates the beauty of assigning meaning to symbols, and thus the people who wrote them.
  3. May 3, 2019
    80
    The detailed landscapes, engaging plot and intriguing premise of a completely fictional ancient language to decipher make Heaven’s Vault a game for which it’s worth getting lost in translation.
  4. Jul 29, 2019
    75
    It's refreshing to see a game that doesn't inspire itself in any previous title but try to establish its own ways of doing things. Some aspects, like the moments travelling the space, are however a bit bland and can become boring. But overall, it's a recommendable experience.
  5. May 15, 2019
    70
    At the end of the game something is revealed about Aliya, and she must make a choice. Unfortunately, neither option held any impact for me. The core mystery of Heaven’s Vault and the puzzles that must be solved to illuminate it are compelling. Yet, like its world and its core character, Heaven’s Vault gets caught up in physical things and forgets the human, rendering its final revelations as cold as the dead moons where Aliya digs up her artifacts. Then again, perhaps it’s fitting for an archaeologist that the story she uncovers is more compelling than her own.
  6. Apr 16, 2019
    70
    The game is ambitious for its translation mechanics and its big-picture look at the evolution of culture through the ages.
  7. Apr 16, 2019
    50
    With its beautiful piano and violin score and occasionally arresting visuals, it is a game meant to be a meditative experience. Players should relish in slowly uncovering new facts about an ancient peoples and sharing this information with their friends, new and old. But even as trimmed as the game is, with small "open-world" locations and limited movement, it still seems like too much polish was placed around a core element that is enjoyable in its simplicity.

See all 24 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Apr 25, 2019
    10
    A game that achieves what it's trying to. If the core conceit of translating an ancient language excites you, the game will really land.A game that achieves what it's trying to. If the core conceit of translating an ancient language excites you, the game will really land. Really a triumph of translating interactive narrative concepts into an adventure game with puzzle elements. It won't be for everybody, but if it's for you: it will delight you. Expand
  2. May 12, 2019
    10
    This game scratches an itch I didn't know I had. The characters are compelling, the gameplay is fascinating and the art style grew on meThis game scratches an itch I didn't know I had. The characters are compelling, the gameplay is fascinating and the art style grew on me throughout the course of the game. I love the depth of thought that has been put into the language decoding puzzles, which gives you enough freedom to feel like a genius when a translation comes together while also subtly supporting you towards that conclusion. I started playing after the quick travel was implemented, so I didn't notice this being as much of an issue for me. Expand
  3. Aug 21, 2019
    9
    Heaven's Vault is definitely a niche game. The main gameplay is talking to people and translating an ancient language through a semi-realisticHeaven's Vault is definitely a niche game. The main gameplay is talking to people and translating an ancient language through a semi-realistic symbol matching activity. Problems come in the form of limited animation, slow and sometimes frustrating navigation on the ground and even more annoying sailing off the ground. But if you can look past these imperfections, there is a fantastic experience here. You get to uncover the history of the world around you, slowly piecing together fragments of language and mystery and being rewarded with some pretty cool reveals. The dialog and role-playing is also surprisingly robust -- conversations aren't stuffed with decisions, but those that you do make have real effects and the ways in which characters and even the world can react are impressive. Even after beating the game, I'm immediately interested in starting another run to find things that I missed and see an alternate ending, although the aforementioned slowness of the navigation does make that less palatable than it could be.

    Overall if you have any interest in archaeology or history this is a must-buy, and if you like talking/walking simulators and generally being immersed in a world, you'll definitely enjoy it. Playing this after Outer Wilds has been one of my best months in PC gaming ever.
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  4. Apr 21, 2019
    5
    I played several hours of this game and still do. It's an interesting study in language translation. I like the dialogs in general and the wayI played several hours of this game and still do. It's an interesting study in language translation. I like the dialogs in general and the way they are presented. But they can be too fast sometimes. The weak part is surely the exploration. The boating thing doesn't have good control and is excessively boring. I like the, on foot experience and finding items but it's very sluggish because there is no option to go faster then walk, and walk slowly. The 2D drawing is a mix bag. I don't like them too much. They just don't fit that well. Update: I give it a 55%. Not the kind of game for everyone. If you like puzzles and exercising your brain, it's not that bad. The auto saving was a big problem in the end, since I found myself stuck in the main quest. The lack of any way to come back on saves is a big problem in this game. I saw many bugs with Huang interactions too. Expand
  5. Apr 17, 2019
    4
    I really tried to like this game but it's TERRIBLE! I'm only giving it a 4 and not a 0 because it has a nice soundtrack and a good artisticalI really tried to like this game but it's TERRIBLE! I'm only giving it a 4 and not a 0 because it has a nice soundtrack and a good artistical touch in the drawings but it's not only pointless and boring, but also also choices don't really matter at all in the end. This game reminded me of that joke about games having multiple endings: all the same thing, but in different colors!
    Gameplay is mediocre at most. Too bad, because the iniatial idea sounded pretty good.
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