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Beacon Pines review

Beacon Pines, the latest release from Hiding Spot Games, is an enchanting and thought-provoking malleable narrative adventure that captivates players with its stunning art, evocative writing, and innovative storytelling. Set in a quaint woodland town, this game follows the journey of Luka, a young deer, and his fox friend Rolo as they uncover ancient conspiracies that blur the lines between reality and imagination. It’s a tale that seamlessly blends the whimsical with the sinister, offering a narrative experience that is as charming as it is haunting.

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From the moment you step into the world of Beacon Pines, you are immediately immersed in its beautifully illustrated storybook aesthetic. Each scene is a visual feast, meticulously crafted with intricate details that beckon you to explore further. The character designs are equally impressive, with expressive faces and endearing animations that bring the charming cast of woodland creatures to life. Every encounter feels like turning the pages of a cherished storybook, with the added delight of being able to actively participate in shaping the narrative.

The game’s narration, delivered by a wonderfully talented voice actress, sets the stage for each scene and guides you through the story with elegance and grace. Her mellifluous tones draw you deeper into the world of Beacon Pines, enhancing the overall immersion and creating an atmosphere that is both comforting and foreboding. It’s a testament to the game’s exceptional audio design and voice acting, which further heightens the emotional impact of the narrative.

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Beacon Pines offers players a unique gameplay experience by allowing them to make significant choices that influence the direction the story takes. These choices are presented with charming options such as “Hide,” “Chill,” or “Ponder,” each accompanied by a distinct charm that adds depth and complexity to the branching paths. It’s a delightful system that rewards attentive players, as collecting charms offers the chance to revisit earlier moments and alter the course of events. This innovative mechanic ensures that each playthrough feels fresh and unpredictable, fueling the desire to explore every possible outcome.

While Beacon Pines may seem initially child-friendly with its cute anthropomorphic characters, it surprises players with its mature and occasionally gritty themes. The game isn’t afraid to delve into darker territory, using language and atmosphere to convey the weighty emotions and dangers that lurk beneath the surface. This juxtaposition between the whimsical and the ominous adds depth to the narrative, immersing players in a tale that transcends traditional storytelling conventions.

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One minor drawback of Beacon Pines is the lack of clear information on the storybook tree, which serves as the menu for revisiting previous decision points. Remembering the consequences of previous choices and the knowledge possessed by characters in various timelines can become somewhat confusing. While the game does provide reminders and nudges from the narrator, a feature that highlights the outcomes of each choice could have alleviated this minor frustration. Nevertheless, this small inconvenience does not detract significantly from the overall enjoyment of the game.

In conclusion, Beacon Pines is a remarkable achievement in storytelling, artistry, and gameplay innovation. Its breathtaking visuals, coupled with evocative writing and superb voice acting, create an immersive experience that lingers long after the game is over. The narrative’s ability to seamlessly intertwine different versions of reality is a stroke of brilliance, offering players a tapestry of stories to unravel. It’s a testament to Hiding Spot Games’ craftsmanship and their ability to create a truly enchanting and nuanced adventure. If you’re looking to be swept away by a captivating and heartfelt tale, Beacon Pines is an absolute must-play.

The review was done on Steam copy. Beacon Pines is available to buy on Steam and also on Xbox and Switch.

Also, check out our article on Beacon Pines Ending Guide.

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.