Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion Review – Beauty in Simplicity

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Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion is proof that developers don’t need Triple-A swagger and highly-detailed presentation to deliver something truly spectacular.

Developed and published by Rice Cooker Republic, Bokida uses a minimalistic aesthetic to create an alluring surface, offering players a gateway into a deep and engrossing experience.

As an open-world adventure game with a monochromatic finish, Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion ticks all the right boxes but what exactly is the game about and what does it offer to players?

Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion Review – Plot

At its core, Bokida is an open-world adventure game with a monochromatic finish, that tasks players with puzzles in order to progress. The narrative involves the player uniting two forces of dark and light, but it’s pretty thin stuff. Beyond that, the backdrop to the plot is conveyed through ancient texts written on parts of the game’s gorgeous environments (on stones or walls) heavily drenched in Taoism.

Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion Review – Mechanics

Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion is easy to enjoy, however, if one ignores the plot for the most part and concentrates on interacting with the world they find themselves in.

In the rather well put together tutorial, players will be shown how to build blocks, cut objects, push objects and “cleanse” (read: delete) objects in the world using their cursor. The tutorial puzzles perfectly explain how to use all of the tools and upon entering the first major world in the game, players will have almost limitless freedom to play around with their newfound abilities.

The world in Bokida is monochromatic with impressive vistas, large temples, rocky outcrops and deep caves depicted in white and black with rare splashes of other colours. Players have to collect a certain number of black orbs and activate special monoliths located within the levels. This is easier said than done though because the game’s world is incredibly vast and filled with puzzles to solve.

The black orbs are scattered throughout the world and some of them are exceptionally well hidden. This further enhances the game’s replayability and completionists might want to invest some time in finding all of these elusive treasures.

The monoliths are somewhat easier to find and are essential to progressing further in the game. Exploring the levels will keep you busy for quite a while but therein lies the beauty of the game. Bodika caters to those players who want to finish the story and those who just want to play around in its sandbox.

Puzzles are easy to solve but since the player often has little to no direction on where to go and what to do in the game, any progress feels like quite an achievement and adds to the sense of wonder and mystery you feel in the game’s world.

Movement is fluid; the added ability to jump, glide and catapult your way across the landscape by pulling yourself towards blocks you’ve created is extremely welcome given how large the levels are.

Playing the game with a controller from the get go will probably alleviate much of the early frustration to be had when using a mouse and keyboard but overall, the control scheme and movement in Bokida is on point.

Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion Review – Design

While a lot of indie games suffer from design flaws such as restricted movement or linearity, Bokida does away with all of that and provides almost absolute freedom to the player. Some may love this while others may loathe it. There is no hand-holding here. It’s just you and the world you’re placed in, with your options to explore or build, laid out in front of you for you to enjoy.

The simplicity and ease at which you’re able to build, cut, push, shatter and delete blocks is extremely satisfying and honestly it will suck you in and keep you busy for multiple hours on end because of how enjoyable it is to just lose yourself in Bokida. The soundtrack is no slouch either and fits in perfectly with the game’s aesthetic and theme. If the game supported VR, or gets a VR update in the future with more tools, Bokida would be a heavenly virtual playground that I wouldn’t want to leave.

Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion Review – Verdict

If a minimalistic monochromatic open-world puzzle exploration games sounds appealing to you, Bokida’s fusion of exploration, puzzle solving and Minecraft-esque block building will keep you busy for a good few hours and is well worth the asking price.
Bokida – Heartfelt Reunion is available on Steam for R199 at the time of review and is definitely worth checking out.
  • Bodika was reviewed on a PC. A review code was provided by the developer.
Sahil Lala

Sahil Lala

Sahil is a tech and gaming enthusiast that's been a writer, reviewer, advisor and editor at multiple publications