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Heaven's Vault (archaeological science fiction adventure/puzzle game) Out Today!


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Reviews are positive so far:


Heaven’s Vault Review – Duolingo Without the Threats

While I may have hated sailing, there’s so much more to Heaven’s Vault than that. This is an absolutely beautiful game that manages to succeed at something genuinely unique and interesting. It also does something many of the best adventure games do. It makes me want to spend more time in its world, as Heaven’s Vault is well worth my time. These are characters I want to talk to, Ancient is a language I want to learn, and Heaven’s Vault is a game I want to replay. Maybe next time I’ll actually figure out how to write the whole review in Ancient.


PC Gamer - 88%

Heaven's Vault communicates the beauty of assigning meaning to symbols, and thus the people who wrote them.


Heaven's Vault review - a rich web of possibility (Eurogamer - Recommended)

Speaking of words, the word for Heaven's Vault is pensive, I think. Pensive used as a word that sets thought in motion, sometimes drifting, sometimes searching, sometimes melancholy, but always moving. Back and forth, returning, reworking, revisiting from another angle. It reminds me: as Aliya passes through this strange yet familiar world, a 2D model in a 3D space, she shifts between different painted poses, settling for a second by a tree or faltering in a doorway. These thoughts, the animation seems to say, as it shuffles one pose into place next to another, can lead in a thousand directions. These thoughts can take you anywhere.


Unearthing Ancient Mysteries (Game Informer - 80%)

Heaven’s Vault is both ambitious and beautiful. It conjures a world rich with life; I enjoyed learning about the different cultures and religions of those dead and alive. Despite the long travel segments and a handful of bugs, I don’t hesitate to recommend Heaven’s Vault. The impressive language-learning mechanic largely succeeds, and with a world brimming with detail, it makes this adventure an exciting one.


Heaven’s Vault is a masterpiece of storytelling (PlayStation Universe - 95%)

Boasting a highly intelligent, beautifully written story that smartly lays mysteries on top of enigmas and slowly unwraps them for you based exclusively on your own approach, Heaven’s Vault stands as an astonishing monument to superb storytelling and intelligently framed adventure genre beats meaningfully entwined to create a sum without equal.

Heaven's Vault review: In search of lost time (PCWorld Editor's Choice - 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.


A Stunning Setting, But The Story Fails to Find Its Voice (GamesRadar+ - 60%)

It’s a recurring theme in Heaven’s Vault: everything I like about it is, at least partly, ruined by the things I don’t. The world is fascinating, and I’ve enjoyed digging into its rich past, but getting from point to point is a chore. It’s a joy to learn a new, Ancient language, but finding inscriptions can be fiddly. The writing in Heaven’s Vault makes the towns you visit come alive—but the story struggles to find its voice.


Heaven's Vault Review - Come Sail Away (Gamespot - 60%)

There's plenty to be charmed by in Heaven's Vault. The art style is pleasant, and the orchestral soundtrack is often beautiful. The writing and lore can occasionally make the game feel like an adaptation of a book that doesn't exist, and it's hard not to get invested in learning more about the game's world. It's just a shame that there's so much tedium to get through as well, and that the experience doesn't always reach the greatness it occasionally shows itself to be capable of. Heaven's Vault excels in creating a well-constructed, branching narrative, but expect long sections of it to feel like a slog.


Heaven’s Vault Is a Refreshingly Cerebral Take on Navigating History (Slant Magazine - 70%)

Despite how these issues range from irritating to outright infuriating, though, they never totally dampen the considerable accomplishments of Heaven’s Vault. This is a hugely ambitious game, both for its translation mechanics and how they provide a big-picture look at the evolution of culture through the ages. It’s an achievement that the game realizes any of those ambitions at all, and that such a rewarding sense of discovery emerges from them.


Rock, Paper, Shotgun review

The thing is, the problems are there. I don’t know if I can recommend this to someone who isn’t a word nerd. But at the same time, what Inkle have achieved in Heaven’s Vault is tremendous. I don’t know what to compare it to, because there isn’t anything. I can’t remember what the Ancient for love is, but I know it contains the word for heart, which contains the word for life.


Heaven's Vault Review: Too Much of a Good Thing (Screen Rant - 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. Decoding languages and examining artifacts are split up by long conversations, walking at a snail's pace, and airship travel. It's too much of a slog to recommend to anyone, save for history buffs and future Indiana Joneses.


The Sixth Axis - 80%

Heaven’s Vault is a fantastic narrative experience that offers a genuinely mature and intelligent take on science fiction and the interactions between technology and religion. Superbly realised characters, fascinating architecture, and a wonderfully detailed new language to decipher combine to make this a truly original and rewarding game. It’s a shame that the sailing is so repetitive, but Heaven's Vault will reward fans of slower paced and meditative games.


Heaven’s Vault Review – Knocking On Heaven’s Door (Wccftech - 90%)

Heaven's Vault is a puzzle game you haven't experienced before. From its engaging story to its engrossing fictional language and puzzles, this is a game that feels rewarding in a way that no other game has done before.


Push Square - 50%

Heaven’s Vault will satisfy budding archaeologists and linguistic fanatics in fits and starts, but the overall experience that brings those mechanics together leaves a lot to be desired. Alongside technical frustrations and tedious movement between locations, this is hardly a game we can recommend with any sort of confidence.


USgamer - 70%

Heaven's Vault may have one of the most well-realized video game worlds ever, with your curiosity and personality molding your story through the Nebula. Whether you're fascinated by history or just by a personal sense of duty, there's a lot to love about Heaven's Vault, even if the clunky movement and frustrating sailing sour the overall experience.


Heaven’s Vault review: an archaeology video game actually about archaeology (Polygon)

Heaven’s Vault does hold great potential; Inkle’s commitment to delivering an alternative (and more realistic) take on video game archaeology, and to encouraging players to decipher and learn a language, is inventive and mentally stimulating. But holistically, the experience is humdrum; there’s little incentive to keep on unpacking its world if I don’t buy into its fiction. And sadly, I do not. For a game that revolves around the beauty of languages, it’s a disappointment that Heaven’s Vault can’t find the right words to express itself.

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4 minutes ago, SFLUFAN said:

I've updated @Keyser_Soze's original post with more reviews so everyone can see the full range of opinions about this game.


I'd be wary of reading reviews too in depth for this game, like the RPS article sorta kinda gives away the meaning of some words and the whole appeal of the game is deciphering it for yourself.


I do appreciate you endorsing my thread, however. 🙏

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Looks like they patched the feature most people didn't enjoy, Sailing the river, and added fast travel today.



We've been listening carefully to feedback since the release on Tuesday, and have just released an update:

  • Fast travel option in The Nebula added
  • Search zones easier to navigate on map
  • Six no longer misdirects you (oops)
  • A small number of people have managed to get stuck outside levels as well, and that has been fixed too.


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Buyer beware then because PS4 isn’t great. The game is way more enjoyable when the walking and exploring segments are small and well thought out. The first area in the game was terrible but the second two moons I visited were much better. 

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As much as I don’t think this is a good game, I am strangely into it and I am not sure why. It runs poorly. The controls are not great. The art is inconsistent. The puzzle mechanic for deciphering words is shallow. The story is all over the place. Yet, I can’t wait to play more. 

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Minor update this time, all for space sailors. The big features are:

- Ruins!: you can now stop at a ruin even if the characters are talking
- Improved fast travel - Six will now take you *all* the way to any moon you've visited before

Along with some smaller things:

- more robust map UI for selecting and charting courses to ruins
- faster dialogue handing the tiller to Six

... alongside the usual collection of minor story fixes, typos, and tweaks.

Meanwhile, here's Giant Bomb spoilering the first hour (but when you play, all the translations, finds and dialogue will be different, because every game is unique):




Didn't know that bit about the bolded part. I guess every game is unique so you can watch / read reviews anyway.

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