Developed by Hiding Spot Games, Beacon Pines is another Kickstarter success story that shows how public crowdfunding can result in some unique and artistic indie games. In less than a week, the project met its funding goal and hundreds of backers showed support for developer Hiding Spot’s cute and slightly creepy narrative-based game that releases on September 22 for multiple platforms.
Beacon Pines tells the story of a young deer and the adventure he and his friends unintentionally find themselves caught up in. The anthropomorphic inhabitants of the titular village each have distinct and generally endearing personalities that help bring the story to life, not the least of whom is protagonist Luka. Mourning the passing of his father and the more recent disappearance of his mother, Luka’s actions are at first spurred by love and later by a greater sense of duty to his hometown.
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As a narrative-driven title more akin to a visual novel than an actual video game, Beacon Pines will certainly not appeal to some players. There is very little gameplay, and the majority of the time is spent clicking the same button over and over, which quickly gets repetitive, to advance the story. Indeed, the beginning of the game takes some time to show its cards and could lose a few players before they get to the good stuff.
Those who persevere, however, will find themselves immersed in an engaging mystery that may successfully combat the slight feeling of boredom instilled by the lacking gameplay. The story, it turns out, is one of the aspects that may keep players going until the end. The game’s cutesy, picture book graphics hide a slightly creepy tale that includes murder and conspiracy, concealed identities, and a sci-fi element. There are even a few unexpected twists that may have some players gasping with surprise as the tale unfolds.
Unfortunately, even the mystery of Beacon Pines won’t be enough to hold everybody’s interest….