Life can be pretty tedious, which is why we invented video games. Where the Heart Leads is a video game about life which successfully recreates the tedium of being alive, but only takes the best part of twenty hours to finish rather than seventy-odd years. So, that's one in the plus column.
The game begins with our champion, Whit, waking in the night to discover that a gigantic sink-hole has opened up outside his farm. His trusty pooch goes to investigate, but falls down the hole because it's a moron, and so Whit does the sensible thing and climbs down into the unknown to save his pea-brain dog.
Here Whit travels to a surreal world in which he can see his entire life unfold, and in which seemingly minor decisions can have major repercussions decades later. You'll spend your time playing Where the Heart Leads traversing these vignettes, interacting with people Whit knows, trying to make ends meet, and solving familial drama.
Interaction is mostly limited to walking from one place to another and pressing X to move on in conversations. Some of these conversations are pretty interesting, some are quite sad, but a lot of them are the sort of boring small talk that you try to avoid by putting headphones on whenever you leave the house even if you're not listening to music.
The game does land one or two emotional blows towards the end, but getting to those moments requires a lot of walking — sometimes with only a vague idea of where you’re supposed to be going — and watching dull conversations unfold. Where the Heart Leads is too long, with huge stretches that give you little to do, and in the end you might be questioning whether it was all worth it. That’s life.