Explore a strange, small town with a dark secret through a curious twelve-year-old and his friends in Beacon Pines, a cute and creepy adventure game from hiding spot games. You control the story and their fates, but when the stories end you can try again to solve more mysteries, uncover more secrets, and craft different endings.
A copy of this game was provided for the purposes of this review.
In Beacon Pines, you have access to a mysterious book where the story is being told as you play, and you’re the one writing it. You play as Luka, a twelve-year-old living with his grandmother after his father passed and his mother went missing. His best friend Rolo comes to him with an adventure in mind, which leads them to uncovering a dark secret that is putting the town in danger. I don’t want to say much more because I certainly don’t want to spoil what develops, plus your choices make differences so the story can isn’t always the same.
Gameplay wise, there isn’t much to say. It is mostly exploring and interacting with people and objects. You not only want to do this to learn more about everything happening, but also doing so unlocks charms which you need at the critical turning points of the story. You use these charms to decide the course the characters are going to take. You do have the ability to go back and make a different choice via the Chronicle, and see how these choices branch out into different endings. Very straightforward and everything is explained by the narrator as you begin the game so it is easy to play.
One thing I love from the get-go is the art style and truly the perfect blend of cute and creepy in the overall aesthetic. The feeling of mystery is evident as you explore the small town, like a light fog over the fairytale like vibes of the animal citizens. The music and sound effects do a great job of setting the mood as well and deserve a shout out.
If you are familiar with Night in the Woods, Beacon Pines is similar. While there is a mystery in a town where everyone knows everyone, your playable character tries to discover the secrets as well as developing relationships with various other characters. That is the extent of their similarities, but I can tell you that if you enjoyed playing Night in the Woods, you will also enjoy Beacon Pines.
Overall, Beacon Pines is a easy to play and fascinating to see how the story can unfold based on your decisions. Even the smallest of choices can make a significant impact that you won’t see coming, and that is truly where the enjoyment comes from in my opinion. If you enjoy story-focused games with charming art and brimming with mystery, you’ll love Beacon Pines.
This post is an Indie Game Collective Showcase