Beacon Pines is a delightful indie game with a fairy-tale environment, hand-drawn artwork, an intriguing narrative, and intriguing decision-making features. However, they rapidly reveal themselves to be not what we thought they were, much like the town in which the tale takes place and the game itself. I felt tricked by the developers after finishing it.
However, from a technological standpoint, the Hiding Spot studio’s work is flawless. Not only does the game look stunning, but I encountered no bugs that interfered with my enjoyment. Even for the youngest players, the action is seamless and the controls are intuitive. We watch the events unfold from above, influencing the activities of a lovely deer named Luka. The designers designed a universe made up of numerous distinct, attractive areas. The areas we see look like three-dimensional illustrations from children’s books. Furthermore, the game is reminiscent of an interactive fairy tale. The narrator’s pleasant voice follows us throughout the game, and at times we are transported to the pages of the book to fill in the missing words of the tale. On the surface, everything appears to be in order. An open book appears in front of us, and the written content of the tale is incomplete. It is up to us to choose one of the available words to enter into the vacant area. The choices we make are recorded in the shape of a tree, to which we may return to modify the course of events by selecting other words. Unfortunately, it rapidly becomes clear that our agency was a fabrication from the start. Finally, we must read each variety of the story in order to get access to more branches of the fairy tale and complete the game.
The creators characterize their work as a cross between Winnie the Pooh and “Twin Peaks”. The inhabitants of Beacon Pines are anthropomorphic creatures with whom we may converse during the game. Despite his ties with Winnie the Pooh, the main character’s life is not a fairy tale; he is bereaved of his father and the mysterious disappearance of his mother. Raised by his grandmother, he strives to cope with the difficulties of everyday life while being joyful. Its plot takes place in a little hamlet whose picture carefreeness turns out to be a façade that conceals a genuinely TV mystery. Financial crises, crooked local officials, deadly chemicals, strange pollsters, and suspicious jams – anybody familiar with the Laura Palmer series should have no trouble recognizing the writers’ allusions.
Unfortunately, the fast-paced and rich mystery is derailed. The second section of the trip, which lasts four hours, is mostly spent clicking through dialogues that aren’t very useful and returning to well-known locales.
After the first excitement, the illusion of choice, the repetitiveness of the gameplay, and narrative flaws result in boredom and irritation. Despite this, I had forgotten most of the terrible recollections only a few hours after playing the game. Maybe it’s the endearing characters with huge eyes, but I can’t remain mad at this endearing production for long. I don’t regret the four hours I spent playing it, but I’m not going to play it again.