Pine Review: Five-Minute Reviews

Thinking about playing Pine?

An ambitious
open-world concept that started life as a Kickstarter project, Dutch
development company Twirlbound received €121,480 (£104,367/$133,890) in backing
to make Pine a reality.

Pine’s Kickstarter campaign commenced in March 2017, its announcement trailer was showcased by Nintendo on their YouTube channel in March 2019, and then Pine received its long-awaited release date for 26 November 2019.

It is now
available on PC for £19.49 ($24.99) via Steam and on the Nintendo Switch for
£19.49 ($24.99), but was it worth the wait?

This Pine review is completely
spoiler-free, and despite delving into the pros, cons, and appearance of
microtransactions within the game, it only takes up to five minutes to read!

Pine review in five minutes

into the game, wandering around the first settlement, and completing the
introductory missions, there is a subtle charm to the character, creature, and
environment design, and the music suits the game very well – especially when
combat begins.

Billed as an
open-world adventure game, there’s certainly plenty of land to explore, beings
to encounter, and items to loot and craft: but what’s most captivating is the
rivalries functionality that’s in play.

On the
island of Albamare (Pine’s setting), you play as a human called Hue who needs
to befriend the other humanoid-animal species which dominate the island. Befriending
one species will, however, result in other species being friendlier or less
friendly to you when you encounter them while roaming the island.

You get to
choose which species to help or hinder by battling their foes and delivering
resources to upgrade their settlements. The mechanic is, by far, the best
aspect of the game and makes for some very shrewd and tactical decision making.

It’s made
even better by the tribes of species acting independently while the player
explores the island, with their gatherers collecting materials and trying to
follow the progress of tribes that the player bolsters.

Pine does have many flaws, the primary of which is the lack of help offered by
the game to the player. While you can put mission markers on a map, there are
many objectives where the player is just expected to cotton-on to what they
need to do or see the necessary next step.

Along with
the general unhelpfulness of the game throughout the story, there are a few perceived
bugs – which may be as a result of going off track due to the lack of guidance –
the poor lighting can get very tedious in certain areas, and the combat becomes
dull rather quickly.

The world
hosts special items to find, puzzles to solve, and a decent number of rival species,
but Albamare can still feel empty. This sense is heightened while progressing
through the story to its conclusion.

While the
story itself is sound, the missions that it takes you on are rather repetitive
and often frustrating or confusing due to the aforementioned lack of guidance
from the game.

Pine offers
many great ideas, especially the rivalries and development mechanics, the story
is very good at heart, and the characters are a joy yo play alongside when they’re
not attacking you.

Pine certainly needs fleshing-out for it to reach its potential and offer more
than just some intriguing concepts that are padded by superb-looking humanoid

Does Pine have microtransactions or loot boxes?

Pine does
not feature any microtransactions or loot boxes. You get the whole game when
you make the purchase, and if you want to progress, you just have to play the

Pine is an underwhelming game with greatness at its core

It’s such a
shame that Pine didn’t build enough around its superb core rivalry mechanics
and the ever-developing world around the player. The island’s inhabitants are
very eye-catching, and the core story is strong, but Pine is let down by its
lack of depth and the lack of assistance offered.

Pine review recap


  • The
    ever-moving world and rivalry mechanic has a lot of potential.
  • Fellow
    inhabitants of the island are splendid.


  • Very
    little help offered when you need it during missions.
  • A
    vast open-world that feels very empty at times.
  • Rather
    expensive given how much the game actually offers.


Pine does not feature any
microtransactions or loot boxes.

Overall Rating

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