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Pine Hearts Review

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Pine Hearts

I instantly fell in love with Pine Hearts, so much detail, so much to see and to do, and implemented in an awesome way. Your first quest is to pet the dog!
It has no missable achievements and takes around 7 hours to complete.

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Approximate amount of time to 100%: 7 hours
Estimated achievement difficulty: 3/10
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 1
Is there a good guide available: I wrote this guide.
Multiplayer achievements: No
Missable achievements: No
Grinding Achievements: Maybe the 1500 collectibles, finding the last ones you’re missing can be a challenge
DLC-Only achievements: No
Speedrun achievements: No
Time-gated achievements: No
RNG-achievements: No
Does difficulty affect achievements: No, you can use the accessibility features freely and still unlock everything
Unobtainable/glitched achievements: No

Sometimes you instantly fall in love with a game in the first 30 minutes. Pine Hearts did this for me! When the game starts and your first quest is to pet the dog, it is a great start! And after that, it only got better and better. However, I also want to mention that Pine Hearts has very emotional moments. It is based on the creative developer losing his dad in a very short time and while the game is wholesome it also touches on the sad feelings of losing your dad. The implementation of those feelings is done in such a beautiful way. I can imagine how challenging the development must have been with a project so close to his heart, but the love and beautiful memories he has shines through the game and I hope it also helped focus on those beautiful memories.

So why did I fall in love so quickly? It starts with how cute this game looks and there went so much attention to detail. What I love about that is how they highlight all those little details by making it reward you with collectibles. Do you see a crab with a crow? Pet it to get a collectible! Do you see a sea otter? wave at it to get a collectible. There are canons broken? Fix them to get a collectible.

What is also implemented in a great way is the interactions you do with a controller for each interaction you want to do. There is a headlight and it can run out of battery, then you have to take it off your head and recharge it by rotating your left thumbstick. If you want to dig you pick up your shovel and first press the left thumbstick down and then press it up. If you don’t like this or can’t do this, the accessibility settings have the option to turn this off and have simple controls. Speaking about the accessibility settings, there are so many great settings in this menu. For example, there is the option to standard run, or standard walk, or switch between them with a button press. There also is an option to highlight all the interactive things so it is easier to differentiate between things that are for show and things that are important to the game. It is so nice when a developer wants to include everybody and find ways to implement accessibility features to make the game playable for a wider audience.

Another thing that I love about Pine Hearts is how it uses the Steam achievements to challenge you to do more and find more things to do than the main quest line. Almost every easter egg and little activity is tied to an achievement and this way a lot of people will get to see everything in the game. It is also done well how the achievements are color-coded and by seeing which color you’re missing you can know in which area to look for it. And it gets major bonus points for not having missable achievements, so you really can just walk around and find everything for yourself without worrying about missing out on something. The only downside the game had for me is that there is an achievement to find all 1500 collectibles, without knowing in which area of the game you’re missing some. I was lucky with this achievement. I had looked at most places, so I only missed 3 at the end of the game, and I could deduct which area I had not looked hard enough and quickly get them that way, but it can be such a struggle and annoyance to find those last ones without a clue where to look. luckily the accessibility feature to highlight interactive things is very helpful when walking around looking for those last few collectibles.

I highly recommend Pine Hearts and give it a 4,5 out of 5 stars.

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This review for Pine Hearts was written on 23 May 2024, based on the current Steam version of the game which has 37 achievements at the time of writing this review. This information can be outdated, for example, when the developer adds or removes achievements or releases (new) DLC.

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