We last saw Beacon Pines at last year’s LudoNarraCon and we’re happy to see it again this year, this time with a solid new demo. LudoNarraCon is a digital narrative convention that showcases some of the best indie games. This year they had over 40 games and demos for us to check out!
Upon first glance, you may write this off Beacon Pines as a fun children’s game, complete with talking anthropomorphic animals. But just like Night In The Woods and Röki, expect more mature themes and a darker adventure in Beacon Pines.
The game takes place in a magical storybook-like adventure that’s focused around a creepy mystery that despite how it looks plays more dark adult. It’s quoted by Hardcoregamer as “Winnie the Pooh meets Twin Peaks” which is probably the best description of this game.
The Story Book World
The star of Beacon Pines and our main protagonist takes the shape of a young deer called Luka. Luka’s father is dead and his mother is missing, so he lives with his grandmother and spends his days hanging out with his best friend Rolo.
They live together in Beacon Pines, a sleepy mountain town caught somewhere between the past and the future. It’s been hard times for Beacon Pines ever since the old Valentine’s Fertilizer plant shut down, after the accident. With most folks seem content with forgetting that it ever happened.
People mostly keep to themselves in Beacons Pines, which is a shame really, because if they talked to each other they might realize that strange things are happening in town. Earthquakes, strange lights in the night, folks going missing, creatures lurking in the shadows, glowing puddles, and strange men in hazmat suits who seem very interested in it all.
Your journey begins with Luka and Rolo investigating the abandoned old factory that may not be as empty as everyone thinks it is.
Beacon Pines Gameplay
Beacon Pines plays like a giant storybook but along its chapters are missing words. By filling in a word you can change the way that events unfold in the story. Depending on the decisions you make you’ll meet different characters around the town and maybe find out more about what’s happening in Beacon Pines.
Charms are how you’ll change the words in the story. You’ll find them throughout Beacon Pines hidden until you interact and explore the environment. Each Charm will have one word on it such as “ponder” or “hide”. You’ll use these Charms to influence what happens.
Did you choose the wrong path? Not to worry once a decision has played out, you can open the magical book at any time. And go back and change your decision using a different charm selection and watch what happens within the story.
Along with exploring the town, you will be able to go fishing as well as cook up some meals. By combining the Charms you have found you can cook meals at the Last Chance Diner and make the hungry partons happy.
The demo is out now on Steam and it gives you a great taste of what’s to come in Beacon Pines. You’ll get to enjoy the beautiful illustrations and soundtrack and you’ll be able to meet some characters and see the outcome of your first decision using Charms.
The demo should take you about 30-40 minutes and it’ll leave you off just when things start going down. It’s definitely worth a play and I can’t wait for the launch sometime this year on the PC and Nintendo Switch!
If you want to check out other cool narrative games from LudoNarraCon 2022 be sure to click on our Coffee Talk: Episode 2 review!