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Paleo Pines Review (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)

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Paleo Pines is a game that, from the outset, appears to be akin to many other farming sims on the market. That said, once players peel back the layers of this charming prehistoric playspace. They will soon discover a title that is less of a farming sim. And one that is more of an adorable exercise in dinosaur taming. That isn't to say that there is anything inherently wrong with this, either. Just to simply make clear the identity of this title. A title that, for many, appears more akin to games such as Stardew Valley, as opposed to games like Ark: Survival Evolved. It is hoped that in this review for Paleo Pines, we highlight what makes the game stand out among other titles.

All in all, what is presented within Paleo Pines is more than serviceable. And while it does manage to maintain its own inherent charm, players should know what they are getting with this game. That being, namely not an overly competent farming sim. Instead, this is a game in which you befriend dinosaurs. And that serves as the primary focus of the experience overall throughout its runtime. With all of that out of the way, let us begin our Paleo Pines Review.

A Promising Concept

When information initially poured in surrounding Paleo Pines, the game appeared to be off to a strong start. The game seemed to adhere to many of the farming/life sim tenets upon which so many great indie titles have been built. For starters, the game, in addition to having a delightfully charming art style. Also appears to have a firm grasp on the farming genre. So it comes as somewhat of a shock when you initially start the game and quickly come to realize how little farming you actually have to do.

And, what farming you do accomplish within the game, mostly utilizes the dinosaurs. This effectively makes it so that not even the farming elements within the game remain completely separate for long. In fact, beyond the game's opening moments, players aren't likely to do much of the actual farming themselves. This is due to the fact that Paleo Pines, not only incentivizes using your dinosaurs to garden but wholeheartedly encourages it. This somewhat strips away the inherent feeling of accomplishment and work that goes into a farming sim.

This is somewhat confusing, as from a mechanical standpoint, the farming present in Paleo Pines gleams with astute confidence. Where this game manages to absolutely shine, however, is with its dinosaurs. Each of the dinosaurs present within Paleo Pines not only looks and feels unique. But each serves its own purpose throughout the game as well. This is wonderful, as it incentivizes players to partake in the game's taming system. As well as encourages them to seek out different dinosaurs along their respective journies. In our next section, we will discuss how this somewhat hinders the farming system. As well as discuss the intended focus of the game. And how it could possibly be misconstrued by players.

A Plethora of Paleo Pals

Starting off the next section of our Paleo Pines review, we would like to shed light on the perceived intended focus of Paleo Pines. And how that might have gotten lost in translation. With an assortment of amazing dinosaurs to befriend. Paleo Pines appeared to many fans, to be a farming sim with the lovable gimmick of being built around these dinosaurs. However, the actual farming/life sim elements seem to be things of the past. While there remain faint whispers of the farming sim that this title could've been. It is very much overshadowed by the game's very much intended focus on the dinosaurs themselves.

And again, inherently, there isn't anything wrong with this fact. In fact, the dinosaurs, you can tell were lovingly crafted, and a lot of hard work and effort went into their realization. Each of the Paleo Pals you meet in Paleo Pines does manage to have its own identity. As well as its own unique way of exploring the world and aiding the player as they go along. One aspect of the farming genre is that the game does phenomenally well, however. Is the streamlining of the farming experience. Simply put, every decision centered around farming itself seems to be a competent one. And everything from how players obtain seeds, to how they tend to crops, feels polished and rewarding.

In addition to this, both the models for and behaviors of your Paleo Pals are fantastic.  This is something that you can tell the developers at Italic Pig poured a lot of their heart into, and it shows. Everything from the various designs of the creatures themselves. To the various rarities, you can find scattered throughout the world. Each feels as lovingly well-crafted as the last. In our next section, we will discuss the dinos.

A Paleo Powerhouse

In our next section, we will discuss the mechanics of the dinosaurs present within Paleo Pines, as well as what they add to the overall experience. Simply put, the dinosaurs are undoubtedly, the start of the show. This can be seen in how often they are brought to the forefront within Paleo Pines. But also in the soundness of their mechanics. Each of the dinosaurs present in the game has several distinct uses. Both for farming, as well as for use in the wild. This ensures that every dinosaur present in the game has multiple facets to them and that there are plenty of differences for the player to enjoy.

This, coupled with the game's rarity system, makes exploring and finding new pals a blast. From a visual design standpoint, each of these creatures is an aesthetic treat and is delightful to come across. No matter what kind of dinosaurs you personally prefer, there is something here for everyone. That said, taking care of your dino pals is one of the greatest aspects of the game, even if the system surrounding doing so can be a bit finicky.

Despite these issues, however, Paleo Pines still manages to make the player feel right at home. It accomplishes this in a number of ways. This includes everything from having a compelling cast of villagers to chat with. To meaningful content for the player to progress through. And while progression through the game may be a tad slow. It allows the player to slowly unveil the rest of the world beyond the starting area of the game. In the next section of our Paleo Pines review, we will discuss the various biomes and environmental aspects of the game. As well as what they add to the overall experience.

Enveloping Environments

In this section of our Paleo Pines review, we will highlight many of the aspects that make each individual biome in the game stand out. As well as the reasons why. To begin with, Veridian Valley, the starting area of the game manages to envelop the player in its charm rather instantaneously. While it is structured rather simply, this is by design. This does a great job of allowing players to familiarize themselves with the area and its inhabitants. Beyond this area, there is the Dapplewood Forest. Within this biome, players will be somewhat overtaken by the large trees in the area. This really adds to the sense of scale present in Paleo Pines.

In fact, each of the game's three biomes manages to feel distinct enough from one another to really let its inhabitants shine. It is the inhabitants of each biome that really shape the player's experience within these areas. This is wonderful, as it slowly unveils new areas throughout the game. This not only encourages the player to learn about their current area but also gives a sense of discovery and wonder when traveling afar.

In addition to this, each area is equipped with its own flora and fauna, giving the player a sense of discovery for seeking out these areas. This makes exploration a great habit to get into, as you never know what you will discover. There are many avenues for player discovery in the game, whether it be a rare dinosaur, or a well-needed plant tucked away in a far-off place. This ensures that there is almost always something to see and something new to enjoy.

A Capable Conclusion

Wrapping up our review for Paleo Pines. We feel it is important to highlight what is so special about the game. For players who consider themselves fans of dinosaurs, as well as cozy games. This game is one we can wholeheartedly recommend. While it may not reinvent the wheel. what it manages to do is provide players a compotent, and charming experience for fans looking for a cozy, comfortable, and relaxing title. Every aspect of the game manages to feed into this feeling and ensures that players are going to want to explore the world of Paleo Pines for quite some time. All around, it is a game which, despite its flaws, manages to capture the feeling of wonderment that both the game's art style, as well as gameplay & characters, both dinosaur and human, evoke.



Paleo Pines Review (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)

Paleo Pines: A Prehistoric Pastime

Paleo Pines is a title that, for many players, will be just what they need. While some elements may be muddled within this dinosaur befriending/farming mix, the core elements of this title shine through. That said, enjoy our review of Paleo Pines.

Judson Holley is a writer that began his career as a ghostwriter. Returning to the mortal coil  to work among the living. With some of his favorite games being tactical FPS games such as Squad and the Arma series. Although this could not be further from the truth as he enjoys games with deep stories such as the Kingdom Hearts series as well as Jade Empire and The Knights of the Old Republic series. When not attending to his wife, Judson often tends to his cats. He also has a knack for music mainly composing for and playing piano.