Title: Beacon Pines
Developer: Hiding Spot
Publishers: Hiding Spot, Fellow Traveler
Platforms: Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), PC, Xbox One
Release Date: September 22, 2022
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and by that I mean October. I want anything and everything spooky in my life and spooky comes in all sorts of flavors. Sure, I love your standard survival horror game with all the jump scares and psychological mind f***s you could ever want. Sometimes, however, I want something creepy with an extra side of cute. Enter Beacon Pines, an adorable little game that will calm you, spook you and make you say, “Awwwww.”
In Beacon Pines, you take on the role of the narrator and of Luka, a little anthropomorphic animal boy who is living with his grandmother, Juniper. Luka’s father died and then his mother went missing but no one seems to be looking for her anymore. His town relied on crops and the fertilizer plant in the past but after the Foul Harvest and an accident at the plant, the town isn’t doing as well as usual. That is until the company Perennial Harvest came into town and is running a Harvest Festival to bring things back to life. However, some weird stuff is happening at the old abandoned plant and it’s up to Luka, his best friend Rolo and his new friend Beck to figure it all out. It would seem that nothing is what it seems in Beacon Pines.
The first thing players will notice about Beacon Pines is just how cute the dang thing is. The setting takes place in the pages of a book and the animation is colorful and bright, even during its creepy moments. While the characters themselves don’t have any voices, we continue to hear the narrator assist us through the whole endeavor and I could listen to her narrate anything. Kirsten Mize blessed us with her voice over for Beacon Pines and she was just delightful.
The best part about Beacon Pines isn’t the adorable animations, the creative characters or the spooky story, even though all of those are fantastic. The best part of the game is the gameplay structure. It’s a narrative game so there is a butt-ton of dialogue but it’s the best kind of choose your own adventure because if you get the bad ending, you have the chance to go back and open a whole new branch of the story.
The way that the game does this so greatly is that along your journey in Beacon Pines, you will pick up charms with words on them. Those charms allow for more story and dialogue options which means more story opens up. That makes it beneficial for the player to take their time and really explore all corners of Beacon Pines.
If you don’t like narrative games, I don’t really blame you. I could never get into Danganronpa or Doki Doki Literature Club but there is something so very special about Beacon Pines and it’s not just one thing. Everything comes together so perfectly to create an adorable and creepy story to dive into and stay there for a while.
You can play Beacon Pines now and I can’t think of a better way to spend a cold and rainy autumn day inside.
Beacon Pines (Nintendo Switch) Score: 9/10
Beacon Pines is a well-thought-out and adorable little mystery narrative game that is a perfect way to relax and unravel an ever-changing story that you control.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.