Chinese puzzles games for the hands and mind: Heaven’s Vault review – new worlds, new words

What is striking is how much power the game’s designers give you to mess everything up. A wrongly chosen translation can send you off down avenues for hours before you realise they are dead ends. Likewise, your robot companion – whose rule-abiding AI routines clash with Aliyah’s risk-taking temperament – will often ask whether you want to leave a scene long before you have uncovered all of its treasures. The opportunity to make mistakes heightens your sense of accomplishment when you do happen to successfully translate a phrase, or find some crucial clue at the 11th hour. The result is a game of quietly forceful consequence. There are few flashy effects here, or action set pieces, but the way in which Heaven’s Vault builds its sense of meaning and magnitude will stay with you far longer than the latest apocalyptic zombie-popper.

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