Where Is My Heart?

FeatureEurogamer's guide to this year's Indie Games Arcade

"How many Die Gute Fabrik games are we allowed?"

The Eurogamer Expo may be better known for the bigger games on the show floor and the star-packed developer sessions, but one of my favourite aspects is always the Indie Games Arcade. It's where I first got to see and play stuff like Frozen Synapse and VVVVVV, and this year I helped regular curator David Hayward and the Rock, Paper, Shotgun guys decide what should go into the 2012 line-up.

Where Is My Heart? Review

Where Is My Heart? Review

It's a family affair.

Where Is My Heart? is a pain to describe but a pleasure to actually play. Thankfully, the basis, at least, is relatively simple. You're dropped into a series of pretty pastel-coloured platforming levels and your job is always the same: get to the exit. How you do that, though? That's another matter entirely.

At the core of the game is a concept so ingenious, I'm stunned I've never seen it before. Where Is My Heart?'s environments are actually quite straightforward - spike pits, waterfalls, a few floating blocks here and there - but the developer's taken the scissors to them, turning each level into a series of little comic-book panels and then jumbling them all up. Walk to the left from your starting point, and you may not actually appear in the panel to your left. You may appear in the panel to your right, or the panel above you, or the panel way, way over on the other side of the screen. It plays absolute havoc with your brain.

Your first task in each stage, then, is to look at the muddled world you've been given and try to work out how it all fits together. Are you on the edge of a drop? Are you at the bottom of a pit? Are all the panels the same scale, or are you going to be tiny in one and a giant in the next? Do they overlap at all, leading to a weird hall-of-mirrors effect? Where are you meant to be going?

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