[Nintendo Switch] Beacon Pines Review
Beacon Pines from Fellow Traveller and Hiding Spot Games is a gorgeous and creepy storybook-like adventure game on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Beacon Pines review!
Beacon Pines from Fellow Traveller and Hiding Spot Games is a gorgeous storybook-like adventure game on Nintendo Switch. Your journey begins as a book opens up in the center of the screen, and a narrator lets you know that the story that you’re about to experience has not been fully told and that its conclusion is not yet known… even to the narrator! As you can tell from the game’s trailer and the screen in this Beacon Pines review, to say that this feels like a book coming to life is an understatement.
The story takes place in the titular town of Beacon Pines, and you’ll be taking control of Luka, who you’ll help explore the diorama-style locations in the game. To give you an idea of what to expect, the team describes this one as Winnie-the-Pooh meets Twin Peaks. You can certainly get that feeling early in the game since you’ll see Luka visiting his dad’s grave, who passed away many years ago. On top of that, his mom has gone missing! This is why his grandmother has now moved into the house to take care of him.
Hiding Spot Games took Beacon Pines to Kickstarter last year, seeking $30,000 in funding to be able to complete the game’s development. Thanks to the support of more than 2,700 backers who pledged over $84,000, the team was able to dive into completing the game. While it was initially planned for a 2021 release, since the project managed to reach a handful of stretch goals while also gaining a publisher in Fellow Traveller, the game is not finally launching this week. What stretch goals were reached? The game was expanded with some bonus sidequests and extra content, and the book’s narrator got a voice as well!
As you control Luka, you’ll be able to help him walk around each area with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping with the A button as needed. You’ll have to interact with objects and other characters to be able to progress through the game. You’ll collect Charms as you play Beacon Pines. You can open up your backpack with the B button, where you can check the objectives that you need to complete, as well as the charms you’ve collected.
Charms are special items that can be used at special Turning Points to affect how the story develops. When you encounter a Turning Point, you’ll know that everything after it hinges on a single word… which is why Charms are such a big deal! You’ll get your first taste of a Turning Point when you interact with Luka’s grandmother back home. He needs to tell her he’ll be going out to hang out with Rolo for the day, and it’s then that you’ll need select one of the Charms that you’ve found… to write that word down in the book itself!
The decisions you’ve made will be marked in The Chronicle. At any time, you can access The Chronicle with the X button to go back and invoke a different Charm to create new branches for the story. Since The Chronicle is presented to you as a tree, that means that literal branches will grow from it as you take on a new story path. You can give this a try during the game’s first Turning Point since it won’t have a big effect on the overall outcome of your interaction with your grandma, but it will give you a glimpse into how things can change based on your actions and the words you use.
Beacon Pines will launch tomorrow on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price.
This Beacon Pines review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Fellow Traveller.