Pine Hearts Review

Developer: Hyper Luminal Games Ltd

Platforms: PC (Reviewed), Switch

Genre: Adventure, Casual

Publisher: Little Nook


Pine Hearts is a cosy adventure game with a heartwarming storyline. This game was developed by Hyper Luminal Games Limited and published by Little Nook. There are a few games to Pine Hearts, but one that plays similarly is Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion. This review was done for the PC, but the game is also available for the Switch.

Pine Hearts is a single-player game where you play as an adorable camper character, Tyke, who has returned to Pine Hearts after several years. After experiencing the loss of their father, Tyke reminisces his memories through nostalgia by repaying Pine Hearts a visit and making sure to climb the very top of the mountain. Upon his arrival, Ranger Maddies recognizes Tyke and instructs him not to be prepared to climb the mountain. Therefore, she hands him a hammer and sends him on a task to clear the cave path leading to the beginning of his journey. Throughout the game, you unlock abilities through memories and collect items, which help Tyke on his climb to the top.


The controls for Pine Hearts are fairly simple. When playing with the keyboard/mouse, everything can be controlled through keyboard keys, only which gives the game much ease. Upon start-up, the game does recommend playing with a controller, and I felt that when I tried with the controller, the game was a lot more relaxing to play, but there was not much of a difference between the keyboard and controller. If you want to indulge in a fully relaxed, cosy atmosphere, then the controller is the way to go. What I like about this game is that it comes with visual options that allow players to choose if they want interaction buttons to hold holding time or have colour blocking to indicate what can/can not be interacted with. When I was trying to complete the game with 100% achievements, I found the colour blocking to be so helpful as it made it evident what I had missed out on. Accessibility options in this game make it so that players can play to their best liking, which is something not found in many games and is something I quite appreciate. 


The art style of Pine Hearts is so unique as it features round, pill-like cartoon characters in a vibrant and colourful setting. Pine Hearts was filled with characters as each NPC had a unique design, and many little details were placed in the environment to make the game be brought to life. By far, my favourite thing was when interacting with random things in the environment, and it had a dedicated animation, which was so adorable to watch. Another thing I enjoyed so much about the visuals was that the memories you would watch were cardboard cut-outs of sketch drawings, which really showed that you went into the past when Tyke was much younger as a child. The memories created a child-like atmosphere which settles in so well with the underlying message of this game. So many aspects of the game make it so charming and, the music/sounds also are perfectly implemented throughout the gameplay. The music is melodic, with subtle instruments that work swiftly with the birds chirping, running footsteps, dogs barking and many other sound effects. The music is harmonious and plays on a loop throughout the game, but this is something that you do not get tired of because it sounds so soothing, which captures the wilderness Tyke is exploring.


The game runs on a simple premise, and that is running errands for the different characters to interact with whilst collecting tear drops that unlock memories. Each task differs completely from the other and has its own little theme, which allows the player to immerse themselves into the unique environments of the game and truly take in the beauty of Pine Hearts. There were some additional puzzles that were not too difficult to solve, but mostly everything else was just collecting items and traversing through the park. The game had interaction after interaction, which I enjoyed so much. For example, the headlight had a little control button click sequence, and the hammer had a specific control sequence, which made the game fun even with such simple things. At first, I thought that the map not being detailed enough would cause an issue in getting lost, but I found that only added to the experience as it made traversing through the different locations much more enjoyable as you could find short-cuts and use unlocked skills from later on memories in previous areas. Because of the traversing, it allowed me to fully engage in completing the game to 100% achievements with a total gameplay time of around 4 hours. Traversing through the landscape was such a pleasant experience. I also enjoyed the interactions with the characters as they had witty dialogues, which made the chats so much more interesting. 


Something I appreciate about Pine Hearts is that it does such a wonderful job at displaying a message of grief not through the feeling of heartache but rather in a way that’s sweet and warm. Through the memories you unlock, you start with something innocent and playful, which leads to a more heartfelt memory. The build-up sets the emotion and the storytelling for this game. The memories are such an impactful scenario in the game that it helps the player really appreciate the charm. 


This game does a fantastic job of portraying the grief of a loved one with a warm-hearted touch. It tells a story through the progression of exploring a loved place between a son and a father to really showcase nostalgia. If you are looking for a heartfelt, charming adventure game where you can take in the atmospheric audio, the stunning visuals, and the delightful animations/interactions, then be sure to check out Pine Heart!

Overall: 9/10

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