Top Critic Average
Pine has a lot of interesting systems and mechanics, but those individual pieces do not add up to a completely satisfying whole. While there is fun to be had with Pine's interesting exploration, many of the mechanics feel disjointed, with too much reliance on the game's collection-based economy. While Pine was clearly made with a lot of love, every good feature in is balanced by a mechanic that doesn't feel so great.
Pine could have been a lot better. There are genuinely impressive systems at play here – for example, the other creatures inhabiting this world are gathering resources in much the same way as the player, and will even snatch up crops and objects that you were making for. But its smarter touches are totally obfuscated by the shadow of absolute technical unsuitability to the Switch hardware.
Pine feels like a very promising alpha, not a game that should be sold as finished. The presence of Pine on the eShop is baffling. While I earnestly hope it improves, I simply can't recommend it in its current form.
It’s safe to say that Pine makes a good first impression. I found myself charmed by its Breath of the Wild-style exploration and intrigued at the underlying systems that appeared poised for complex faction dynamics, and that’s saying nothing of the quality visuals and music. Those first several hours I spent with Pine promised a truly fantastic open-world experience. Unfortunately, the developers appear to have become sidetracked trying to hew to the puzzle-action formula of traditional Zelda titles, and that has the unfortunate side effect of highlighting Pine‘s worst elements.
Pine's interesting diplomacy system can't save it from its dull combat, repetitive quests, and severe technical problems.