The love and loss behind Pine Hearts, a cosy camping Metroidvania

May 27, 2024
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“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” I don’t know who first said these words, but they have given me great comfort over the years. I truly believe memories can be treasure, and often the most precious treasure there is.

But what if we were to take those memories, and channel them into creating something special and new, which then goes on to help others going through something similar? This is what Hyper Luminal Games has done with Pine Hearts, its wholesome take on the Metroidvania genre, and similar to what fellow Metroidvania Tales of Kenzera: Zau did on its launch in April.

Pine Hearts welcomes players into the hiking boots of Tyke, an adorable little bean of a chap who returns to the Pine Hearts camping site he used to visit as a child. As Tyke makes his way through the grounds, he can assist other campers with tasks such as collecting firewood and scaring off crows. So far, so indie. But quickly you realise there’s more to the game underneath its bright and unassuming exterior – a deeper story of love and loss that serves as a heartfelt ode to creative director Rob Madden’s father.

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