Pine Grove review - A mix of genres that doesn't know what it is
| Pine Grove

Pine Grove is a bit of a strange one. To all intents and purposes it's an endless runner. Or more precisely an endless driver.

But it's wrapped up in a mystery about vehicular murder, a missing brother, and psychic powers. And the two parts of the experience don't really gel together to make something cohesive.

In fact there's a sort of jarring nature to everything that means you never grab a hold on things. And eventually that's the game's downfall.

Dead drive

The driving section that makes up the core of the game is simple. You're controlling a vehicle. Tap the left of the screen to turn left, tap the right to move right.

There are obstacles to avoid and your headlights are constantly dimming, so you need to pick up blobs of glowing yellow to top them up. Just like in real life.

There are also clues to pick up. Because you're not actually the character driving the car, you're a psychic investigator who's remembering the events of a particular night.

Finding different items lets you unlock different suspects. Different suspects let you drive on different levels and in different vehicles.

Ostensibly you're trying to find information about your brother. But really you're just driving about for a bit and then getting rammed off the road by a psychotic pursuer.

It's all a bit of a mishmash really. You don't feel like a psychic investigator and you don't really feel like you're under threat either.

Reverse gear

The two sections of the game just aren't that interesting. Even on their own they'd feel lacking. Pushed together they just highlight each other's flaws.

The driving isn't sharp enough, the investigations aren't, well, investigate-y enough. This is a valiant try to do something different with the genre, but it falls pretty short.

There are ideas here, and some of them are pretty neat. But the overall package is a bit all over the place, and that lack of focus means you'll lose interest pretty quickly.

Pine Grove review - A mix of genres that doesn't know what it is

There are some interesting enough ideas here, but they never manage to gel together at all
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.