Friday, December 8, 2023

Beacon Pines Demo Reveals Intriguing Mystery in Gorgeous Mountain Town

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If you need a cute and creepy adventure game to add to your Wishlist, Beacon Pines from Hiding Spot Games is the one for you! Originally a rhythm based game, now a rather meta choose your own adventure game, it’s Winnie the Pooh meets Twin Peaks.

This is the third (and final) co-written review by us (Molly and Seher) since we couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we both had playing the demo!

Announced in January with a demo becoming available this summer, Beacon Pines follows Luca VanHorn who has lost his father and now has a missing mother. As the player you direct Luca around his town as he and friends try to uncover the many mysteries of the small town, from shady corporations, to the location of his mother, and who knows what else.

One of the more interesting elements of Beacon Pines is that the narrator breaks the fourth wall, directly speaking to the player and framing the game as you helping them to finish their book, interacting with not just the world of the story but the very framing and dialogue of it all.

Players will explore an illustrated mountain town to collect word charms which then alter the story, help make friends, and weave the fabric of fate itself. Meaning, the player is also the reader and editor of the storybook of Luca’s life! So keep an eye out and interact with everything. Think of the word charms as inventory items in a more standard point and click adventure game, which you’ll want to solve puzzles and open new pathways. Some will be found naturally, but others you have to look for.

How the word choice mechanic works.

You know how when you read a choose your own adventure adventure book growing up you’d keep a finger on the page you’d just left and flip back if it turned out to be a bad choice? Don’t lie, you totally did that. Well, Beacon Pines doesn’t just let you do that with ease, it encourages it. There are key moments that can cause branching pathways, and you’re encouraged to go back and pick a different word whenever you desire it.

Since it’s always fairly clear what words can go where, this enables the player to more easily go after 100% completion, or to backtrack and avoid bad endings. It’s a fantastic and unique mechanic, blending both point and click adventure and choose your own adventure text adventure mechanics.

Beyond the unique central mechanic, Beacon Pines is a fantastic game with a gorgeous art style. While the dialogue is delivered in a visual novel style rather than cutscenes, every still is full of personality, helping establish every character just by looking at them.

Beacon Pines Dialogue

The dedication to little details really make this game superb like shown in the tweet below. Beacon Pines‘ team could have left the bunting alone but all the little movements make the game more enjoyable and immerse the player in the world.

Of course the game, marketed as Twin Peaks meets Winnie the Pooh, must also provide a central mystery, and wow, does it! By the end of the demo, you will absolutely be left wanting more. All in all, there’s plenty to recommend this game for and we both cannot wait for its eventual release!

You can play the demo and wishlist Beacon Pines on Steam now!

Images and video courtesy of Hiding Spot Games

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  • Seher

    Seher is the Associate Editor-in-Chief at The Fandomentals focusing on the ins and outs of TV, media representation, games, and other topics as they pique her interest. Otherwise, she's reading away for graduate school. pc: @poika_

  • Molly

    Gay, she/her. An unabashed Disney fangirl, who may or may not have an excessive love of shipping, comics, and RPGs. She's not saying. And anything you've heard about attempts to start a cult centered around Sofia Boutella is...probably true.

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