Green Heart, from indie game developer Wooden Rabbit Games, is an RPG with a twist. Rather than play the shining hero who smashes through hordes of bad guys and ogres, you will play as one of those ogres just trying to survive his everyday life. The game starts off rather innocently in the monster village of Ariel. Like many of its kind, Green Heart teaches you the simple mechanics of gameplay by integrating the tutorial as just conversations with your neighbors and friends in the village. You start off as everyone’s grunt, doing chores which teach you how to do various things in the game.
It also prompts the player to make seemingly strange decisions such as whether to kill a animated torch or not. They may seem pointless, but each decisions actually changes the path of the game. Very quickly though, things start to go wrong. A human girl turns up in the village (due to one of your friends’ carelessness), gets injured, and makes friends with you. From there, it’s a matter of dealing with the fallout of her appearance. I have to wonder if the deeper message of blind prejudice was intentional, but it is certainly clear to see. Who would have thought that monsters could be kind-hearted vegetarians?
The battles are turn-based with some timed attacks, and you can fight against humans and other enemies with several of your monster friends. The graphics and controls are very simple and can be mastered probably before you even leave your house. The few characters I did meet were likable and quirky, and I even liked the main character (Momo the ogre) right away.
There’s also a few interesting elements – such as choosing whether to have environmental music play or not and using a chest to save rather than gain loot. Loot (potions, herbs, etc.) is gathered from other areas of the environment – like flower beds and shelves. Be sure to check everything around you! You can actually download the demo for free on both PC and Mac.
Overall, Green Heart shows real potential. There are some rough edges to be cleaned up – such as issues with saving and some language problems in dialogue – but it is charming. I found myself very quickly engrossed. I wanted to continue on to see what was going to happen – which is one of the most important and elusive elements of gaming these days. I would really like to see the full version available on platforms like Steam soon so I can see how it all turns out!