Beacon pin review

Developed by Hiding Spot Games, Pins Tags is another Kickstarter success story that shows how public crowdfunding can result in unique and artistic indie games. In less than a week, the project reached its funding goal, and hundreds of backers showed their support for developer Hiding Spot’s cute and slightly spooky narrative game, which will be released on September 22 for multiple platforms.


Pins Tags tells the story of a young deer and the adventure he and his friends unwittingly find themselves caught up in. The anthropomorphic inhabitants of the titular village each have distinct and generally endearing personalities that help bring the story to life, not the least of which is Lucas. Mourning the passing of his father and the more recent disappearance of his mother, Luka’s actions are spurred first by love and later by a greater sense of duty to his hometown.

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As a story-driven title closer to a visual novel than an actual video game, Pins Tags definitely won’t appeal to some players. There’s very little gameplay, and the majority of the time is spent clicking the same button over and over again, which quickly becomes repetitive, to advance the story. Indeed, the early game takes a while to show its cards and could lose a few players before getting to the right things.

Those who persevere, however, will find themselves immersed in an engaging mystery that can successfully combat the slight sense of boredom instilled by the lack of gameplay. The story, it turns out, is one of the aspects that can keep players going until the end. The game’s cute picture book graphics hide a slightly spooky story that includes murders and conspiracies, hidden identities, and a sci-fi element. There are even a few unexpected twists that may surprise some players as the story unfolds.

Unfortunately, even the mystery of Pins Tags not enough to interest everyone. Lots of reading and lots of opportunities for the mind to wander. Although the game is entertaining, it’s hard to call it fun, and that doesn’t help that Pins Tags a little overstaying his welcome. When players are ready for the end of the game, it continues for a few more hours, even with fast reading and button mashing to browse text faster. It’s likely that some people will just move on and not hold on.

Another remarkable element of Pins Tags is the most touted in marketing materials – the mechanic that makes the game feel like a hybrid between crazy libs and a “choose your own adventure” experience. While reading, words will be found in random places which will be added to a type of lexicon called The Chronicle. At key moments in the story, the player will be able to influence what happens next by selecting an available word. For example, at one point the sky is cloudy overhead and the player has a choice of “rumble” or “break” to decide if the weather clears or starts raining.

These options come fairly regularly, but not frequently. This means that an entire chapter, or even a few, can unfold as a result of a single word choice, and the player has no influence over what happens in those chapters. In other words, choosing a particular word is more akin to driving along a mapped track, choosing the turn off the ride will take next, and then sitting down to watch the new scenery roll by. That means even less interaction than a visual novel like Doki Doki Literature Club or Supermassive The Anthology of Dark Images, which, as noted, may not be enough to retain the interests of some players.

Because each player-selected word leads to a new branch in the storyline that can last for one or more chapters, it can get a bit difficult to keep everything in order. However, the flow of the story, whatever the path, was crafted deftly enough by Hiding Spot to make everything fit together pretty well. The different branches of the story don’t seem completely separate, and the information revealed along one fork in the road fills in the gaps left in other paths. In the end, they all come together seamlessly to form a somewhat satisfying conclusion.

One of the only real negatives to the design of Flagship Pins’ Branching storytelling is the fact that ultimately all forks lead to the same resolution and there are not multiple endings to the story. In fact, although the player has three words to choose from in the final chapter, only one will lead to the true conclusion and epilogue of the game. In a way, this renders The Chronicle and the player’s decisions throughout throughout the game seem almost meaningless.

However, at the end of Tags Pins, every possible option will have been seen by the player. This leads to the understanding that the varied choices in indie gaming aren’t really what’s important. On the contrary, seeing all the scenarios that could have arrived and enjoy watching them play is perhaps the true purpose of the game. populate it.

The different characters are another strength of Pins Tags. Most of the time their personalities are superficial and slightly stereotypical, but the main cast – Luka, Rolo, Beck and a few others – are developed enough that some players care what happens to them at the end of the game. villains will be satisfying, a decision that results in the disappearance of a character will be difficult, and Luka finding out what happened to his mother and getting closure will become important for players immersed in the story.

Along with enjoyable narration by voice actress Kirsten Mize, the Pins Tags The development team consisted of just three other people – Matt Meyer, Ilse Harting, and Brent Calhoun – who all wore multiple hats, including creative director, writer, artist, audio, music, and sound effects editor. It’s an impressive feat that makes the game all the more worthy of appreciation. Unfortunately, despite its positives, Pins Tags just won’t be a hit with everyone. And while its story and gameplay mechanics are interesting and fun, they aren’t necessarily memorable. It’s a game that will definitely attract a select few, but a smaller group will add it to their list of favorites.

Pins Tags releases on PC, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on September 22. Game Rant received a PC code for this review.

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