Impressions

Published on April 21st, 2017 | by Graham

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Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal Impressions

Impressions are based on a time-limited free demo of the game - they're not reviews and don't have a score.

Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal (also referred to as Heart’s Medicine Season 2) serves as my introduction to this lovely time management series following the adventures of Allison Heart.

As you can guess from the title this is a hospital based game.  You’ll spend most of your time frantically clicking around the screen, trying to heal patients as quickly as possible.  Like every other entry in the genre, Heart’s Medicine has a very tenuous link to reality.  Patients are generally cured in a few seconds and you’ll be shuffling hordes of them around at a time.

Upgrade options are a bit limited

Optional challenge levels are sometimes set in different screens

It’s fairly standard time management fare, but to its credit Heart’s Medicine makes a real effort to keep things fresh.

Often you’ll break into a small minigame as you rub ointment on a burn or burst bubbles in a syringe.  These just last a second or two, but really aid in breaking up the routine.

You can upgrade your ward between levels, which helps keep patients happier for longer.  Though I’d have liked to have seen more upgrade options available.

And there’s an optional unique bonus challenge on each level, along with completely optional challenge levels you can attempt in between the main ones.

But what really keeps the game fresh is the story.  We’re in hospital drama territory here, with a sappy-but-involving story of an adopted nurse’s struggles to tell if his father (who permanently occupies a bed in the ward) loves him.  It’s all a bit mawkish – there’s plenty of hugs – but drew me in, regardless.  Plus there’s plenty of incidental humour, such as stumbling in on a canoodling pair of young doctors and a resulting very awkward conversation.

The introduction is particularly dramatic, starting in media res in the back of a speeding ambulance as you struggle to save a colleague’s life.

So many time management games can start to feel like rather soulless exercises in clicking after a while, but Heart’s Medicine Season 2 genuinely engages with its characters and story.  I was disappointed at the end of the hour’s trial, just seconds away from completing the first set of levels set in a ward, as I was keen to see what would happen next to Allison Heart.

Difficulty wise, it’s pretty easy: I found it simple to collect the maximum three stars in each level, along with the bonus challenge.  The levels are very short, just a couple of minutes.  But the first set of levels took me an hour and there are six sets in total, so the game’s going to last you a fair while.

I haven’t touched on the presentation and animation, which is generally lovely.   Well drawn and expressive characters, attractive backgrounds, and a soundtrack that doesn’t grate.  There’s no voice acting though.

Season 2 of Heart’s Medicine is a really solid time management genre, with a lot of – yes, I’m going to say it – heart.  Definitely a strong recommend.

I played this using gamehouse.com, who have generously provided me with a free access to their service. At $10 per month for unlimited access to all their games, it's genuinely a great deal. Plus you get a one hour demo of all of their games for free.

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