Posted: 9 weeks ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.
In Beacon Pines, you guide Luka around as he sneaks around with his friends, investigating the weird happenings in their town and trying not to get caught. Play consists of interacting with people and places around town and making important choices about how Luka will approach the problems he faces at certain points in the story. Exploring the town, talking to people, and looking at things will reveal Charms like “Hide”, “Chill”, and “Ponder”, action words that you use during important moments called Turning Points.
One unusual thing about Beacon Pines is that you can go back and forth between Turning Points any time to try out a different path. Experimenting with different Charms and moving between the story paths is built into the gameplay rather than something you would need to replay the game or reload a save file to do. Revisiting past Turning Points once you have discovered new Charms may reveal entirely new branches of the story, and the ability to return to any previous choices grants the freedom to explore.
The result is a surprisingly fresh way to experience a story. The playful nature of changing different key moments not only adds weight to the narrative you let play out, but encourage you to consider "what if?" Beacon Pines looks like another wholesome story game, but actually offers a more substantial and innovative narrative experience than its visuals suggest.
You can play this game in the following styles:
7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Younger players may need help to understand the implications of some choices. Played together with a parents or guardian they should be fine.
Reading is required for a large portion of the game, the Narrator portions of the text are all voiced, but the audio for all of the character dialog is just pitch sounds.
Most of the text in the game is high contrast. However each character has a unique text box background color and with black text some of the darker ones result in low contrast text that can be challenging to read.
The game displays which of the Charms you own are usable at each Turning Point, and gives them a check mark when you have played out that choice as far as it can go. If you begin down a path and decide to do something different, when you return to that option the game will prompt and ask if you would like to start from the beginning of that choice or where you left off.
Diversity and Inclusion
The game includes a plot-relevant lesbian couple who are parents of one of the children in Beacon Pines. Multiple branches involve these two mums and one branch of story is about one of their jobs and involves a heist.
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