Beacon Pines- Come for the art, stay for the story

This weekend marks the Big Adventure Event on Steam, which features a ton of indie adventure games that you should definitely checkout. First one I choose to play was the demo for Beacon Pines, a cute mystery adventure game. Premise of the game is you’re a 12-year-old orphan (maybe?!) named Luka that is being raised by your grandmother. Dad’s dead and mom is missing, but everyone except you seems to believe she’s dead too. Your best friend is a fox named Rolo, and the part of the story that unfolds in the demo is entirely his fault. I’ll spare you the details here since it’s so story driven- don’t want to spoil anything.

Absolutely stunning backgrounds!

This game is worth checking out based on the visuals alone. You move through the game by moving from “room to room” like an old RPG, though in this case a “room” is any change in scene. Each of these “rooms” appears to be hand drawn, and the artists that created each scene dug deep into their color palette, and created absolutely amazing backgrounds. While all the rooms are great, anything outside with natural scenery is phenomenal.

The game itself has a pretty interesting mechanic that allows you to go back and change the story based on making a different choice at specific decision points. As you explore the world, you’ll collect “charms” which are stand ins for specific words that are playable at decision points. The word you choose determines what happens next. However, as you progress in the story, you can go back to a previous decision point, change your choice, and continue the game from that point with your new decision. There’s some restriction on when you can play what words, but over all this is a neat mechanic that takes away any pressure from potential making a “wrong” choice, and I like it.

Gran is not here for your sass, boy!

Overall, this game looks like a lot of fun. There’s a lot of demos that are so limited that they don’t really feel very fun, and there’s no real point in playing it again. Beacon Pines is definitely not one of them. The demo feels like a polished game on it’s own, even if you can’t get to a satisfying ending. Definitely check out the demo!