Inkle’s archaeological-themed sci-fi adventure game Heaven’s Vault is coming to Nintendo Switch on 28 January 2021, optimised for the console and with support for both Joy-Con and touchscreen controls.
Heaven’s Vault casts you as Aliya, an archaeologist investigating some ancient ruins on a far-flung planet. It boasts an open-ended narrative that lets you tackle different tasks in any order you choose, with the story adapting to the choices you make along, but the most impressive thing is its hieroglyphs: a whole ancient language created and ready to be deciphered, forming the crux of the game’s puzzles.
Here’s Heaven’s Vault‘s summary, from Steam:
Aliya Elasra is an archaeologist, exploring a strange region of space called the Nebula with her robot sidekick Six, hoping to uncover the secrets of the long-forgotten past. When a roboticist from the University of Iox goes missing, Aliya begins a trail of discoveries that will lead to the very edge of her world – and the ancient secret of Heaven’s Vault.
Heaven’s Vault is not your usual linear adventure game. Progress through the game in any order you choose – the game’s fully adaptive narrative remembers every choice you make, every discovery and every action you take, influencing what happens next. Meet a diverse cast of characters who remember everything you say, and who’s attitude to you will change with how you act. Some are friendly, some are cautious, and some are out to trick you.
Who will you trust? What will you find? What will you learn? What will you risk? What will you lose?
• Explore ancient sites, discover lost ruins
• Find artefacts and translate their strange hieroglyphics
• Sail an open-world of fast flowing space-rivers
• Piece together the history of the world and an entire ancient language
• Diverse cast of characters that remember everything you say
Translate Ancient Hieroglyphs
An entire ancient hieroglyphic language awaits to be deciphered. A puzzle mechanic with a twist: solutions are narratively significant and further the story – but the wrong translation might send you down the wrong track!
Industry leading narrative engine
Powered by the ink engine, the narrative technology behind 80 Days, Sorcery!, NeoCab, Sable, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine and many more, Heaven’s Vault is a dynamically constructed adventure game that responds to every move you make.
Heaven’s Vault originally came out last year for PC and PlayStation 4, meeting with widespread acclaim and winning the Independent Games Festival’s award for Excellence in Narrative. It’s developed by Inkle, the studio behind the (also excellent) 80 Days.
The Switch version of Heaven’s Vault is up for pre-order now ahead of its January 28 release, at a price of AUD $23.99 / NZD $26.99 / USD $17.99 / £14.99 / €15.99.