I’d be lying if I said I liked farming games, and I’d be lying if I said I absolutely adored the genre’s mainstay masterpieces like Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon. I never really got the hype behind these kinds of games other than them being the occasional time killer or the potent mood stabilizer that does more work than a psychiatric nuke. And this usually would captivate me for a day or two, three if I was in a rough/bored state of mind, but it never was anything more than that. Yet, developer Italic Pig has done something relatively special when it comes to their upcoming game, Paleo Pines, and it kept me entertained far longer than I had originally thought.
Published by Modus Games, Paleo Pines is an upcoming farming sim with a focus on dinosaurs! And while it may look a bit gimmicky, or perhaps an attempt at diversifying a basic gameplay loop embedded into the farming sim genre, its actually quite cool; and very, very, very, cute. The game opens up very similarly to Stardew Valley in the sense that the player character returns to a dilapidated farmstead that was bequeathed to them after a long time. The game even features the same weed-pulling/clean-up time that games of the genre usually feature. Once that finishes up, the game opens up a little bit more (do keep in mind this is an early demo display, so phrases like this primarily mean the little that is given at the current point in time), and, guided by the player’s faithful dino companion, the player is greeted with a flute that allows them to tame other dino’s and issue varying commands to them. This also allows the player to deepen bonds with their potential Jurassic pals. The din0s, from what I can tell, seem to be able to help out in regards to farming, so there is a potential monetary incentive to tame a lot of dinosaurs. While the demo was relatively short, it provided a stable basis for what to expect from the upcoming game. While the formula is tried and true, and there are not many deviations that stretch beyond the genre’s source material, I can definitely see this game suiting its niche and enrapturing players for (hopefully) years to come.
Paleo Pines releases on PC, PS4, PS5, XBOX ONE, XBOX Series X, PC, and the Nintendo Switch on September 26th, 2023. You can wishlist it right now via Steam.
Related: Reviews by Fabian Bautista
Whether it be diving deep into uncharted oceanic depths, wading through knee-deep pools of demon blood, or taking a leisurely walk through a fictional western frontier, I am always eager to explore previously unknown sectors of the creative space, impatiently overturning every stone begging to be flipped over. Dabbling in both speculative and realistic fiction, with a sprinkle of journalistic fanaticism, I enjoy any game that displays narrative magnificence, or if it's just plain fun!