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Review: Heileen 3: New Horizons for PC

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Heileen 3: New Horizons
Price: $19.99 (Standard version with Male romances)
System(s): Windows (Also available for Mac and Linux)
Release Date: December 17 2012
Publisher (Developer): WinterWolves (Winterwolves)
ESRB Rating: “Teen” for Sexual References

PC dating simulation games are becoming increasingly more popular and more and more titles are being made. The point of dating sim is for you to try to score a lover by selecting the correct dialogue choices or choosing the right activities to impress them. Most of the time you have to build up traits or skills before you can even get that special someone to notice you.

Heileen 3: New Horizons for the PC is, obviously, the third part of an ongoing series of dating sim games. In this sim you not only have to try to hook up with the perfect (or not so perfect) man, but you also have to master a skill such as cooking or farming that will impress that big hunk o man! You will also have to build up either good or bad virtues which will affect not only who you can date, but what job you can master. It seems easy, but it’s a lot of work. Oh, and you don’t have to worry about playing the other two games first because Heileen is very good at keeping you up-to-date on people and events.

Lost at Sea Yet Still Time for Love!

Heileen 3 continues from where the second game left off. Heileen is rescued from her turmoil by a very attractive and young pirate named Morgan who, surprise surprise, she just happens to know him from her childhood. Heileen and her two friends Ebele and Robert agree to help out on the ship in exchange for Morgan’s help in finding the rest of her friends that were lost in the shipwreck.

Your main goal in Heileen 3 is to build up skills so you can eventually master a skill, which may help you romance one of the men onboard or eventually learn a trade. When you are on the ship, all you can do is build up your stats by doing different routines around the ship such as cleaning the deck or navigating. Each routine builds up a different stat that is needed to learn a main skill which you learn when you are visiting different towns. As you meet people you can have them join you in a task which will give you various stat boosts.

Every once in awhile you will have an interaction with someone on the ship or in the town and this is where you build up or lower your virtues. Each choice you make will affect your moral status which is charted on a sliding bar that moves towards either good or bad depending on your actions. For instance, doing something selfish will cause the counter to move closer to the negative virtue Greed, whereas making a selfless choice will move the counter more towards the positive virtue Charity. Being all good or all bad isn’t necessarily the best choice because the dateable characters are looking for specific virtues, plus you can’t master certain careers unless you built up the correct virtues.

If Only Real Dating Were This Easy!

Heileen 3, like most dating sims, is very redundant. You will mostly be doing the skill building on and off the ship which is just clicking “do this skill” over and over. You don’t actually get to perform the skill or play any mini games. The skill building is only interrupted by the on and off ship interactions which do happen quite often but they usually don’t last very long.

Fortunately, Heileen 3 is very good about letting you make up for “bad” choices. For instance, if you unintentionally raise a virtue that you wanted lower, you can simply counteract it by choosing the opposing virtue next time. For instance if you notice your Wrath meter is too high, then next time you can pick a dialogue option that will deal a Patience card. It is pretty easy to tell which one will lead you towards the side you want to be on and there are LOTS of interactions in the game. Also, don’t forget that you can save anytime which is nice because you are bound to screw up once or twice (just like with REAL dating!)

There are lots of different endings in Heileen 3. You can either get a profession ending or a romance ending depending on what you did in the game. If you mastered all the skills needed to start a career then you will get a professional ending, if you managed to say and do all the right things needed to impress a guy then you will get a romance ending. You should be aware that in the main version of the game you can only romance men, but there is now an update out that you can buy that allows you to romance women as well.

Another thing you have to worry about is the fact that you only have a set amount of time to play Heileen 3 which means that you can’t afford to waste time. If you want to get a specific ending then you need to focus on only building up the skills you need. If you try to build up every skill and virtue and don’t focus on gaining specific ones then you will get one of the bad endings. This is one of those games where the ending doesn’t come when certain goals are met, it will end whether you are ready for it or not!

A Pirate’s Date Life For Me… Not!

So Heileen 3 turned out to be a pretty fun little dating sim. There are many different skills to master and many different men (or women) to romance. Also the virtue system makes the game a bit interesting because you now also have to worry about what type of person Heileen will become at the end.

Yes, it’s redundant and yes, it’s a bit hard because you have to complete it in a certain time, but the replay-ability and fact that you can save at any time make up for it. If you get a bad or undesired ending, just reload and make different choices! That is unless you are one of those people who refuse to backtrack and insist on following through with whatever lousy choice you made; in that case you are on your own!

Heileen 3: New Horizons

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