Bite-sized Review:
Heavenly Bodies

Developer: 2pt Interactive

Release Date: 8 December, 2021 

Platform: Windows, MacOS, PS 4/5

Genre: Puzzle

By Chris Picone, 22 June 2023

Heavenly Bodies was never on my radar when it came out ~18 months ago.  But they recently released a big update that enables 4 player co-op and that caught my attention.  It also appears they've been busily updating their game since release and even have more to come.


Heavenly Bodies is a weird mix of semi-realistic and detailed in the spaceship construction, the tools and parts, and the mission manuals - but the actual cosmonauts are a bit silly.  It fits the game, though:  Trying to beat the puzzles and work out how to fix the spaceships is all very serious - but trying to maneouvre your cosmonaut around the place often feels as silly as the cosmonauts look.  



I went into Heavenly Bodies expecting a silly co-op party game similar to Human: Fall Flat.  Which is not at all what this game is, but honestly that's what I took away from watching the trailer (and the appearance of the cosmonauts fits, right?).  Not at all what this game is about, though.  It's a fairly challenging puzzle game where the mission manual gives you all the clues you need but leaves you to your own devices to actually work out.  The manual, for example, might tell you that you need to plug a device in and then use a tool to wind some machinery, but not tell you how to get to the plug or where to find the tool.  I loved the clues - informative and clear, but don't expect any hand-holding.  The game's technically playable solo but I can't imagine playing it that way.  Many puzzles lend themselves towards players working together - for example, one player might hold a crate to prevent it flying away while the other player jimmies it open with a pry bar.  Or one player might operate a crane while the other works outside the spaceship to fix something.  The real enemy in the game is the lack of gravity; it takes a while to learn how to control your movements, swimming or pushing off walls.  The controls are tricky too - you can move each arm individually, and use each to grab, which sounds easy until you actually try to do it.  But it's a lot of fun trying to work it out, it adds an extra layer of complexity to your missions, and also leads to some funny situations when you're trying to move in tight spaces or miss a jump and end up cartwheeling into space. 



If you're looking for a fun party game, Heavenly Bodies is not the title you're looking for.  But if you're looking for a challenging game where you really do need to work as a team with your co-op partner in order to solve puzzles, look no further.  It's a fun multiplayer game, and particularly fun to play with your kids who enjoy a challenge but might need a little help. Oh! You will definitely need controllers to play this game.