I was honestly not expecting to like this game, it’s an interactive story with a lot of dialogue and reading. Beacon Pines also looks very “kid-friendly”; whilst I don’t need a game to be filled with sex and gore, I also don’t want to play Paw Patrol! The cute characters and cozy background had this game looking closer to the latter, but I kept playing because the writing was really good. The pacing is about perfect, and the moment you start to feel bored with a conversation, the game moves on to something new. I also just want to note that this is the most difficult game I’ve written about, namely because the game is the story. Yet, I don’t want to give you the whole story and ruin the game for you. As such, I will try my best to keep it spoiler free, and I’ll stay within the first couple of chapters.

Many thanks to Fellow Traveller for the review code

In this cozy little town of Beacon Pines, there are a lot of characters. You control a young anthropomorphic deer called Luka Vanhorn. Luka lives with his grandmother as his father passed away and his mother disappeared after her husband’s passing. Your best friend is Rolo; and when he isn’t being harassed by his sister, he is exploring and playing in your treehouse. Becks is a new girl in town, who has clung to Luka as a sort of lifeline. She has never stayed in any place for too long, as her mothers are brilliant chemists who often find better jobs. For Becks she struggles with being happy for her moms, yet yearns for a place to call home and friends she will have for a lifetime.


The story centers around the little town, and more specifically the fertilizer plant just outside of town. The late owner of the Plant was very wealthy and brought prosperity to the sleepy little town, essentially creating the town itself. Luka, Rolo and Becks discover something for more nefarious going on, as toxic waste is ending up inside the woods just outside of town. The toxic waste has a rather chilling effect on whoever or whatever comes into contact with with it. Certain higher ups and town officials will do anything necessary to keep the little secret safe, as they may end up with blame from a prior catastrophic harvest. While this is all unfolding, you’re still an adolescent with friends who are also hyped up on hormones. While getting into fights or confessing trauma, the three kids continue to strengthen their bonds.

The game play is almost like a ‘downer mad libs’. This is an interactive novel story type game, and it’s really only one word you have control of. This one word is only available when you find it, through conversations, interactions or just reading. The words create different ‘branches’, which may lead to dark or light; the important thing is that you try to find more ‘words’. Often with this game you have to see things go wrong before you see them go right. Many times your only option is to make things go poorly. As you progress, you will find more words and you have to teleport back to where you made your first bad decision and simply pick another option.

Luka and Rolo from Beacon Pines are standing in Luka's house in this screenshot.. Rolo (masculine anthropomorphic liger child) is wearing a deerstalker hat. Luka (masculine anthropomorphic deer child) looks annoyed and has a speech bubble that says, "What is that ridiculous thing on your head."

I will repeat what I said at the start of the review: I would never have thought I would appreciate this game. After playing hours and hours, I feel like it’s a really good and fun game. The replay value through the roof, the graphics are gorgeous and the game play loop is really addictive. Most people will have a great time traversing this game and getting to know the characters. Ultimately I would advise most gamers to pick this one up and give it a shot.