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Pine certainly looks good, a proper open-world action adventure with a story depicting humans who never reached the top of the food chain. It just released with Linux support today.

Note: Both the publisher and GOG sent a copy for us.

Developed by Twirlbound with a publishing hand from Kongregate, the story and setting certainly sound great. Looks fantastic too, gives off a little bit of a Zelda Breath of the Wild vibe from the trailer and pictures. You can see the launch trailer for yourself below:

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As a quick bit of history, Pine was funded thanks to the help of around 4,091 Kickstarter backers pledging €121,480 back in 2017. Linux was included as a release platform and here we are.

Something to note since it will be asked, there's a set story to follow and so there's no character creation possible in Pine. The story follows the young protagonist, Hue, as they attempt to find out more about the world they're in as the elders seem to live in fear of the outside world.

Feature Highlight:

  • A seamless open world to explore, filled to the brim with secrets, puzzles and collectibles
  • A smart simulated ecology of species who fight each other over food and territory
  • A diverse cast of species to befriend or hinder through trading, talking, questing and fighting
  • An engaging combat system that learns from your every move
  • A sweeping story of a human tribe at the bottom of the food chain, struggling for survival

I've not had it long and sadly I've already noticed one major issue on NVIDIA. If you adjust VSync, your character model instantly vanishes so you're just clothes floating around. Quite a nuisance. I've reported it to them, which they've seen and it can be worked around by quitting and reloading. There's a few other times I've seen models not appear for various things too. Hopefully this will be amongst the first lot of fixes.

It's a Unity game using OpenGL, with no Vulkan support. I've tried forcing it to Vulkan but that caused the player log file to fill up with errors and eat entirely through my HDD space so that wasn't possible it seems.

Pine has everything in it that seems like an open-world adventure I could happily play for weeks, with the ability to explore and mess around in the environment. I've already had a few laughs with it, especially the weird and wonderful animals you come across. Disturbing a nest of "Puffles" was quite amusing, weird bird-like creatures that make a lot of noise and then they all make a mad dash to get away from you. Free eggs though—winner!

Pine has a number of different animal factions, all trying to control the island. If you help one and become allied, another might start attacking you on sight. To increase your standing with a faction, you need to give them a bunch of junk you find while exploring in a Donation Box near their village.

Some time later I was exploring, trying to find one of those Donation Boxes to increase my standing with a village. I found one and just as I was about to hand over the goods, what I can only describe as a huge and colourful (and surprisingly well equipped) Turkey decided it really didn't like me. It was mad—real damn mad.

It was well and truly kicking my butt, until a Fox-like person came along and started throwing explosives everywhere! What the heck is going on? I haven't a clue but it's brilliant.

The thing is, the Fox creature wasn't trying to help me. They just happened to be rival factions. After the colourful Turkey was defeated, the cunning Fox turned their attention to me and…a few bombs later I was toast.

From what I later learned, the Donation Box was right next to a village whose entire people were hostile to me. Okay then, so I sneak back to it later and donate a ton of rocks and wood and now they're my friends. Sorted. Well, that's stretching it a bit, we're almost friends. I just need to donate a few more rocks and random stuff I find on my travels.

I keep coming across these Turkey-like creatures, which I've now learned are actually called Gobbledew. They're manic fighters, they can launch themselves right up into the air at you and all. In a group, they're quite a nuisance to deal with. Seeing my new Fox friends (which are actually called the Fexel) growl at them when they come near their territory is quite awesome—and alarming with the volume up.

The Fexel eventually take me in, after I follow their gatherers for a while and pinch whatever goodies the Gobbledew end up dropping when slain by the Fexel, which I then donate back to the Fexel. Whose the cunning one now then? Me! Now they all salute me when I walk past, they even gave me a shield! Now I'm on my way to find someone else who might be familiar with Human equipment to help me gear up. Things are looking up!

Lots of amusing encounters are possible and the world seems quite big, plenty to see and do. Incredibly promising. You know a game is definitely good when you don't want to stop playing.

Rough edges but seems a huge amount of fun. You can pick up Pine from GOG and Steam.

Note: The article originally mentioned really low performance, but that is a result of issues with my CPU Governor. Forcing it to Performance makes it a lot better. It's likely the game is doing something we quoted Croteam tallking about in a previous GOL article.

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x_wing 10 October 2019 at 5:14 pm UTC
As I said, this really looks like a mix between Fable and Overlord. Now, where did I put my credit card...
Liam Dawe 10 October 2019 at 5:26 pm UTC
MasterSleortWell for me the game is working well. Playing at "Fantastic" (highest) setting at 4k around 40-50 fps with occasional dips to low 30s fps. However, I am also using Vega 64 and padoka stable drivers
For what I have played, I think the game is neat and actually lives up to my hopes. Only thing I miss are real voices. That would probably add a bit more depth to the characters.
Yeah I don't think the graphics truly affect the performance much until you set it to the lowest to remove shadows and such. Some of the reports I've seen even on Windows (the obviously more optimised platform), it seems to struggle for others too. I've also seen a report of graphical issues on AMD...

Edit: Added some more fun bits to the article. Still exploring, may update further.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 10 October 2019 at 5:49 pm UTC
Cyril 10 October 2019 at 5:53 pm UTC
Liam Dawe
chancho_zombiedid you upgrade your hardware Liam? I though that you had a 980Ti.
NVIDIA provided us with a new GPU:

You can no longer criticize them, Nvidia bought you!

x_wing 10 October 2019 at 6:02 pm UTC
Liam Dawe
chancho_zombiedid you upgrade your hardware Liam? I though that you had a 980Ti.
NVIDIA provided us with a new GPU:

You can no longer criticize them, Nvidia bought you!

I agree, Liam sold out! Anyway, at least he did it for the highest available bribe.

If I were you Liam, I would start complaining about my cpu... just saying

Last edited by x_wing on 10 October 2019 at 6:02 pm UTC
Liam Dawe 10 October 2019 at 6:52 pm UTC
Update: I've managed to get the performance to be a good 10-15FPS better and generally smoother overall by forcing the "Performance" CPU governor for my CPU model. It's much better, but still does need some improvements from the game

Honestly, I forget just how bad the default is on my CPU model. Will update the article to reflect this.
Luke_Nukem 10 October 2019 at 7:00 pm UTC
Liam DaweUpdate: I've managed to get the performance to be a good 10-15FPS better and generally smoother overall by forcing the "Performance" CPU governor for my CPU model. It's much better, but still does need some improvements from the game

Honestly, I forget just how bad the default is on my CPU model. Will update the article to reflect this.

Had a very similar issue with Wreckfest. If you use the cfq scheduler it takes absolutely forever to load - you need to use deadline or noop (it *feels* like deadline is faster).
rick01457 10 October 2019 at 7:07 pm UTC
This looks good and i've already got it added to my long steam wishlist. By the time I get round to actually purchasing it, I'm sure the performance issues will be solved too

It's an absurdly low price for a brand new game though. I'd expect some rough edges right now.
14 11 October 2019 at 12:06 am UTC
This game looks and sounds really fun and enjoyable to play. It's on my GOG wishlist now, and I imagine it won't be too long before I pick it up I hope....
x_wing 11 October 2019 at 12:54 am UTC
On Mesa drivers (more specifically, with RadeonSI) the game generates artifacts due to Unity ambient occlusion. Fortunately there is a workaround: AMD_DEBUG=nodcc %command%

Runs really well on my system, 45-60 fps.
Spud13y 11 October 2019 at 1:21 am UTC
Lack of a character creator is a bummer, but the artstyle looks pretty charming. I had loads of fun with Breath of the Wild on my Wii U, so I'll probably pick this up after Dragon Quest XI.
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