Pine Review

Pine Review – Test of the Open World Action Adventure with dynamic tribes

Pine Review - Test of the Open World Action Adventure with dynamic tribes
Pine Review – Open World Action Adventure

The ZapZockt.de Pine Review. In this article, I would like to introduce the game Pine. Pine is an action-adventure game for single players in a 3D Open World. You play a fixed character, the young Hue, who is a member of a small human tribe in a fantasy world. Everything worth knowing about the game, an exact analysis, and evaluation you get in the following.

German version


This article is available here as text, but also as video and podcast. So you can choose how you want to enjoy it.

Video:

(German, with subtitles in many languages)

Pine Test – Intro

Moin Moin, here’s the zap. In this episode, I introduce to you the singleplayer Open-World Action Adventure Pine. I’ll show you what it’s all about and how it plays. At the end, there’s a rating by me, but hopefully also enough insights and information about the game, so that you can form your own opinion if the game could be something for you.

Pine is developed by Twirlbound and published by Kongregate. Both are smaller companies. Despite the really good looks, this is more of an indie title, not a big AAA game. You should be aware of this and not let your expectations become too big.

Pine was released on October 10th for PC, Mac, and Linux by Steam, gog.com, and the publisher’s own portal Kartridge. A Nintendo Switch release is also planned. It currently costs 20,99 €. So the price is rather in the lower-middle-class range.

The game was given to me by the publisher as a free test sample, but this will have no effect on my rating. My viewers and readers have the highest priority and I rate everything as if I had paid for it myself.

Pine Review -  What kind of game is Pine?
What kind of game is Pine?

Game type – What kind of game is Pine?

Pine is an action-adventure game for single players in a 3D Open World. You play a fixed character, the young Hue, who is a member of a small human tribe in a fantasy world.

Pine is a mixture of Open-World Exploration and 3D Jump & Run with some role-playing, puzzles and puzzles, fights, and many enemies. It’s about survival in a hostile world with a special focus on the social and dynamic connections of each race.

Background – History:

Pine -  Background-History
Pine – Background-History

The description of the game says that Pine plays in a world where people have never made it to the top of the food chain. We play Hue, a very young man from this human race. His tribe lives on top of a narrow and very fragile cliff and does not trust the surrounding world. The tribe members are educated from an early age not to leave the village. And so they are always very strongly warned of the outside world because outside everything is dangerous and threatening.

However, Hue is thrown off the cliff by an accident, and gets to know the outside world, finds a way back, and can no longer be held. As the cliff on which his village was built becomes more and more unstable, he moves out to find a new home for his people.

Technology, Graphics, Engine, Sound

Technology, Graphics, Engine, Sound
Technology, Graphics, Engine, Sound

Pine is based on Unity, as this is a very mature engine, many teething problems are already excluded.

The graphics of the 3D world is very pretty and has their own special style. Many textures are rather simple and not very detailed. But with these limited means, the game still creates a harmonious world. So nature is always very lovingly arranged, it has a lot of grass, flowers and numerous different objects.

Pine Review [Deutsch, many subtitles] Test des Open World Action Adventures mit dynamischen Stämmen - Hauptcharakter Hue
Main Charakter Hue

What I don’t like so much about the graphics technology is the strong fog effect. Although I have turned the graphics to the highest level, there is still a lot of fog already at a relatively small distance, which increases with the distance. I would find that more beautiful without fog. And unfortunately, there are only very few options to adjust the graphics to your own needs.

The animations are fluid and nice to look at. The movements in combat as well as in the world are very dynamic. This provides good gameplay in combat situations and especially in the jump passages of the numerous puzzles.

The game offers some nice music titles and enough good noises. The voice output has been chosen in an interesting way. All texts are subtitled and the characters make sounds that are adapted to their kind, but just not real speech output. As a comparison, I can think of Die Sims, which uses a similar principle.

Pine Gameplay
Pine Gameplay

Pine Gameplay

We play our hero Hue in the third person, run, hop, collect material, search, and explore the very beautiful world of Pine. We have to get to know the different tribes and become friends with them with a lot of diplomatic sensitivity, or just cultivate hard enmities with them as we like.

In addition, there is an extensive main quest series that revolves around finding a new settlement for our people. There are also side quests and jump puzzles, hidden caves, secrets and treasures to be found.

The world of Pine

Pine Review | Gaming News

A nice point is that the Open World of Pine is not only relatively big, but you can actually reach almost any point. Here comes what I call a “Skyrim feeling”. Because if you see a mountain on the horizon, you can decide to go there and climb it, and that will work. And maybe a secret can be discovered there, too.

Often the world is also designed very three-dimensionally. So there are numerous caves that have been built directly into the world, where you can walk not only upon the mountain but also down. But there are also smaller cave systems that can be reached by loading screens, so not 100% of everything is in the Open World.

In total, there are 6 so-called biomes. There is a forest area, a swamp area, snow-covered mountains, a desert, red sandstone cliffs, open pastures and also different coastal areas. All these natural styles have a very different look and feel really different when traveling through.

Pine Game – Fighting

Pine Review -  Fighting
Pine Review – Fighting

Another important point in the game is fighting. And here we have extensive possibilities, light, and heavy blows, kicks, bounce attacks, evasive rolls and so many combination attacks that can be found out by trying them out.

With mouse and keyboard, this is sometimes a bit fiddly but still feasible. I suspect that fighting and some jump passages feel better with a gamepad.

Our hero has life and endurance, and both must be replenished with food. Here we can either eat some plants directly, which we collect, but there is also meat from the animals and other food.

With some time in the game, we’ll also get recipes for traps, such as tripwires or blasting barrels, which we can use not only to solve certain quests but also to get good advantages in combat.

Crafting and Ressources

Pine  rafting and Ressources
Pine rafting and Ressources

In addition, crafting and collecting resources is another important part of the game. There are an estimated 40 to 50 different materials that we can find and collect. Throughout the game, we get a lot of building recipes called “ideas” that we can use to make intermediate material and equipment.

The crafting itself runs directly in the inventory, so we don’t need any extra workbenches or tools. The ideas, however, are very rare in the beginning and either has to be found, and mostly they are in places that are difficult to access, or we have to negotiate them with the races. And this requires that we first make friends with the respective people.

Pine Review [Deutsch, many subtitles] Test des Open World Action Adventures mit dynamischen Stämmen - Unser Held Hue
The Hero Hue

There are 4 pieces of armor that can be improved. Later there are more armor parts to buy.

And then follow various melee and ranged weapons. In the beginning, we have a slingshot that has infinite ammo but does no damage to enemies but is only good for operating switch puzzles. Real ranged weapons need ammo, and they need to be made, too, so they’re always in short supply.

The equipment has no direct values but is distinguished with a 5-star system in quality. There are Sets, so you might get a bonus by gathering all armor parts of the same style.

Otherwise, there are some potions and food that we can find and produce. Food fills our life, partly also our endurance. Depending on the variety, more of one or the other. But there are also all kinds of other effects you can get by eating. As an example, there is an herb through which you can walk faster for a while. I suppose there will be more effects later.

Pine Review: a role-playing game?
Pine Review: a role-playing game?

Is Pine a role-playing game?

Pine has a quest system and a complex crafting and equipment system, but there are no role-playing elements beyond that. There are no experience points, no levels, no skills, and no talents. So I wouldn’t call it role-playing, but rather action-adventure.

The Factions

Pine Review - The Factions
The Factions

In the world of Pine live 6 different peoples, except humans. And our hero Hue must now set off to find a settlement for his human tribe. The first people we get to know as Hue is neutral towards all others and they also have few and solid settlements. These people, little cute bears who live on their mounts and almost never leave them, are traders and explorers and do not interfere in the disputes of the others. But they help us to reach our goal.

Otherwise, however, the world is already completely divided between five of the races. And these races are in a constant dispute about the fixed settlement places. Therefore a big part of the game is diplomacy. There are the crocodiles, a crocodile race, the foxes, which are rather fox-like. Then there are the lizard-like filters, the turkey-like Golladigack, and the deer-like Kariblin.

Nobody likes us at first. Everyone will attack us directly on sight. In order to change this, we have to collect material and donate it in so-called donation boxes to the respective peoples. Thus we receive prestige from the associated people. So each of the five peoples has an attitude towards us.

The complex but also interesting thing about it is that the peoples are also at odds with each other and their attitude to each other is constantly changing. And so you get points for the people you donate to, but at the same time, you get points for the other minus points. And this depends on whether they were friends, neutral or enemies of the people. According to the motto, the friend of my enemy is also my enemy.

And these attitudes of the peoples to each other can also change to such an extent that settlement places can change. In the later course of the game, it is possible that wars develop and villages are completely destroyed and another race is settled in the same place. Also, our hero Hue can take part in such actions.

So careful tactics, collecting and donating to the 5 competing races make up an important part of the game. It is very difficult to become a friend of all. Achieving this goal would require enormous amounts of resources and balancing the five friendship values is very difficult. It makes more sense to choose 2-3 races that you prefer as friends. And you should make sure that they are friends with each other.

And so that the matter does not become too simple, each people has constantly changing preferences. Some goods are rather unpopular and do almost nothing for donations and others are extremely popular and give especially many friendship points. I suspect that these ratings partly depend on how well certain goods are available in the current catchment area of these people. And so you have another incentive to carry goods around the world. Because each herb and each ore has only certain areas in which they can be found. And they are more valuable in the areas where they cannot be found.

At first glance, this fraction system appears complex, complicated, and confusing. But in the long run, it offers a pretty interesting game system and makes for a relatively dynamic world. And I think it’s also a very unique game feature that I haven’t seen in any other game before. It takes some time, but somehow it also gives you a nice feeling when the enemies of the past become friends, you can visit them and deal with them. Or you can ally yourself with one tribe and go into battle with them against the long hated other tribes.

Reading recommendation:

Here you can find more reviews by me

Condition of the game:

Pine -  Condition of the game
Pine – Condition of the game

As already mentioned at the beginning, the game is developed by a small indie studio. As far as I know, only 7 people are currently working on this title. With this small team, Twirlbound has created a very interesting game. But you can’t expect AAA quality.

So we can expect some minor problems here and there, but the team is already working hard on the feedback and bug reports of the players. In the first 5 days after release, there were already 2 extensive patches that fixed some bugs and inconsistencies. And new features and technical improvements are also in the works.

So hopefully some of the bugs the game now has will soon be history. Nevertheless, I’ll list some things I’ve noticed negatively at the moment.

I’ve already mentioned the fog in the technique. The game offers a beautiful view of the big world, but unfortunately, this view is limited by too strong fog. Probably this is done for performance reasons. I would rather do without some details in the grasses or shadows and be able to look further without fog. But unfortunately, the game doesn’t offer any settings.

Another problem that may be related to the upper one is that sometimes the camera jumps around. I suppose this is related to short-term performance drops. So if the developers manage to improve the performance even further, this should be reduced or done completely.

At the moment, however, the camera sometimes makes strong jumps to the right or left or even 180° turnarounds, especially in fights or in some jump puzzles. Also when running fast through the terrain it happens quite often that the camera suddenly changes extremely, because the game has lagged briefly to reload something.

Pine Review - Cover Picture
Pine Review – Cover Picture

The soundtrack is not perfect either. The game offers these Sims-like noises instead of speech output. Since it is an Indie title, I can understand that well, in any case much better than no set at all. But here, at least in the German version, the setting is a bit strange. Some sentences have no noises at all, but the characters move their mouths anyway and sometimes the lengths of the noises and the texts don’t fit together at all. But since the game supports numerous language versions in the text, this is probably also difficult to get right for all languages.

The mouse control is sometimes a bit complicated. You can see from the title that it is more optimized for later console conversions and therefore gamepad control was in the foreground. Here I would be happy about some fine-tuning. But maybe this is only related to the performance problems mentioned above.

Save-Game Management is unfortunately somewhat console-like. There are only 5 save slots, no sorting by date and time, and no possibility to name or delete savegames yourself. With a PC title, I find this rather insufficient. I hope that there will be improvements here, the developers have already received feedback from me.

I have read on Steam and in Discord about some problems with quests that could lead to complete plot stoppers. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to me during my tests yet. But of course, there is an enormous potential for frustration if you’re unlucky enough to be able to “drive” a score to the wall after many hours. I think urgent improvements are needed here. As a tip: Sometimes stuck quests can be reactivated by going in and out of a cave several times, or by saving and reloading.

Altogether the game still needs some improvements. But keep in mind that it’s a small development team and they’re working really hard on it. If you can’t live well with these bugs, you should definitely wait for some patches. But with some fault tolerance, it’s already a very playable title.

Pine Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Pine Review -  Opinion and Conclusion
Pine Review – Opinion and Conclusion

Pine has a Zelda-like look and also some gameplay element reminds a bit of Zelda Breath of the Wild. It’s not a real roleplaying game, but more of an adventure with role-playing elements.

The world is really pretty and just wandering around and exploring the beautiful landscape was really fun for me. There are many secrets to discover and the story also contains some interesting moments.

I wasn’t so excited about fighting at first. But once you’ve gradually fought your way into it and possibly worked out some well-functioning combinations, it gets better.

The faction system is really special. I’ve never seen anything like it in a game before. It kept me busy for a long time and I also enjoyed it. But I can imagine that for some it could be too base-heavy and the number of resources you need to build up your friendships could be a bit annoying.

Some puzzles are easy to solve, others are very complicated and the solution is sometimes difficult to grasp. Jumping puzzles are often quite difficult to solve, but others are extremely hard. In this area, the game could use a little more balancing.

Technically, the game still needs improvements, but even in its current state, it is well playable. At least as long as you don’t get into a plot stopped bug. I can only recommend using several savegames here.

Pine Review: Rating

Pine Review: Rating
Pine Review: Rating

From the play fun and play feeling, I would like to give Pine actually an 85% evaluation. It has a really chic world, it is fun to travel around and discover everything. Also, the faction system is a really nice idea and the overall idea and setting are very appealing.

However, the game still has some rough edges, which spoil the positive impression. Both technical problems and other negative things like a little too much grind to balance the friendship among the races and also some too difficult puzzles or plot stopping bugs keep the game from becoming a top title.

The developers are busy improving, so there is a chance that performance problems, as well as bugs and some strange balancing, will become even more positive. But until then I deduct 7% for technical flaws and another 7% for too much grind and too many frustrating moments in jumping puzzles, puzzles, and other situations.

Pine Review Deutsch EnglishTest des Open World Action Adventures mit dynamischen Stämmen Wertung mit Zahlen
Pine Review English

This brings me to my current final score of 71%. With the prospect of improvement, depending on how good the other patches are.

For 20,99€ Pine offers at least 10, more like 20+ hours of fun. If you really want to see everything and have every corner examined and every puzzle solved, the game time can probably be much higher. So Pine is worth the required price in my eyes, at least if you can cope with the mentioned problems or if the game has been improved in some time.

Pine

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Pine Review
Pine Review – Test of the Open World Action Adventure with dynamic tribes
In this article, I would like to introduce the game Pine. Pine is an action-adventure game for single players in a 3D Open World. You play a fixed character, the young Hue, who is a member of a small human tribe in a fantasy world. Everything worth knowing about the game, an exact analysis, and evaluation you get in the following.
World design
unique Settlement System
Story and Riddles
Combat
State of the Game
Frustrating moments due to Grind, Puzzles, Lags

Summary

From the play fun and play feeling, I would like to give Pine actually an 85% evaluation. It has a really chic world, it is fun to travel around and discover everything. Also, the faction system is a really nice idea and the overall idea and setting are very appealing.
However, the game still has some rough edges, which spoil the positive impression. Both technical problems and other negative things like a little too much grind to balance the friendship among the races and also some too difficult puzzles or plot stopping bugs keep the game from becoming a top title.
The developers are busy improving, so there is a chance that performance problems, as well as bugs and some strange balancing, will become even more positive. But until then I deduct 7% for technical flaws and another 7% for too much grind and too many frustrating moments in jumping puzzles, puzzles, and other situations.
This brings me to my current final score of 71%. With the prospect of improvement, depending on how good the other patches are.

3.5

Outro

Do you like what you have seen and heard about the game so far? Do you feel like helping Hue to find a settlement or does the game not suit your taste? Apart from that, did you like this review, or do you have any wishes or suggestions for improvement? Please write it to me in the comments, I am looking forward to your opinion. We are very happy to talk about this post or any other topic in the Community Forum on Zapzockt.de or on the Discord Server to the channel.

Then I wish you a great day, until next time. Let it be well with you, ciao ciao, your Zap.

Pine Homepage

Pine Steam-Page

Kartridge-Page (Publisher-Platform)

Pine at Good Old Games (CD Project Red Shop)

Pine Dev Facebook Page

Pine Dev Twitter Page

Reading – recommendations:

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Shopping – Tip:

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Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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