It all began so seemingly nice and simple for Eve Staccato, HEARTBEAT‘s protagonist, her grandfather asking for a favor. A simple errand. Nothing too major, and surely not the kind of thing that would mark the beginning of a grand adventure. Except… that’s exactly what happened, and now this lil’ conjurer is about to embark on what will be a “transcendent journey”; one of danger and joyful times in equal amounts, surely!
I mean, while you do have the option of going fishing, card-collecting, and other side activities/quests, it would probably be best not to stray too far from the main road. So to speak. Wait, what am I saying? Fish to your heart’s content! Catch every single fish in the game! Who cares about that “character-driven story that comes with multiple endings and a post-game” which is said to span some 20+ hours, anyway? Yeah. Obviously joking. Story’s important, however fun doing other things as soon as the opportunity presents itself may be.
After a great war between humans and Mogs, the world you dwell in lives in a constant state of uncertainty and danger. As a Conjurer, a human marked by Mogs, it is your duty to maintain the peace and ensure balance between all who share the earth beneath your feet.
Side quests are after all, according to the developer, a great source of both lore and rewards, so probably a good idea to ignore my advice about not straying too far from the main road. Even more so as I suspect these are also going to be a great way to make new friends who will help you not only in combat, but also with solving various puzzles. Guess that means… they posess some unique skill(s) that the protagonist lacks. Ah, rough times for the main character in an RPG, relying on his/her allies to get the job done. But that’s just the way it is, and hey, the more friends the better. Oh, almost forgot to mention that you also have the option of raising and customizing a baby moth, of all things, because why not?
All in all, HEARTBEAT definitely looks like an enjoyable experience, one full of things to do, interesting characters to strike up a conversation with- maybe even befriend/hire some of them – and of course, plenty asskicking to do. What more could one possibly want from a pixellated RPG such as this?
HEARTBEAT is available from itch.io, carrying a $9.99 price tag. Steam release date TBD.