The love and loss behind Pine Hearts, a cosy camping Metroidvania

Memories as Treasures

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” These words have provided great comfort over the years, emphasizing the importance and value of memories as precious treasures.

Discovering Pine Hearts

Hyper Luminal Games has taken the concept of treasured memories and infused it into the creation of something special – Pine Hearts. This heartfelt take on the Metroidvania genre embodies themes of love and loss, echoing a similar approach seen in other games like Tales of Kenzera: Zau.

In Pine Hearts, players step into the shoes of Tyke, a charming character revisiting the Pine Hearts camping site from his childhood. As Tyke navigates the area, engaging in tasks like collecting firewood and shooing away crows, the game gradually unfolds a deeper narrative beneath its charming facade – a narrative that pays homage to the creative director’s father, Rob Madden.

Pine Hearts Announcement Trailer.Watch on YouTube

Madden’s personal experience with loss, particularly the passing of his father Roy in 2019, served as a driving force behind Pine Hearts. Following his father’s death, Madden turned to game development as a form of solace and creativity, seeking to build a comforting and warm virtual space. This initial endeavor eventually evolved into the heartfelt narrative of Pine Hearts, a game inspired by childhood memories and the enduring impact of loved ones.

Rob Madden. | Image credit: Hyper Luminal Games

A Message of Hope

Pine Hearts is more than just a game; it’s a testament to hope and resilience in the face of loss. Madden’s intention with the game is to offer players a sense of comfort and positivity, allowing them to navigate themes of love and memory while finding solace in the gameplay experience.

Through the character of Tyke and the overarching narrative, Pine Hearts explores the idea of how our loved ones live on through us, shaping our values and actions even after they are gone. It’s a touching tribute to the lasting impact of those we hold dear.

Pine Hearts Tyke pets a dog at the foot of a mountain. The path up is blocked by a large gate

Image credit: Hyper Luminal

Madden’s dedication to his father’s memory shines through in Pine Hearts, offering a personal and poignant reflection on the profound impact of loss and the enduring power of love. As players embark on Tyke’s journey, they are invited to explore themes of hope, healing, and the eternal bond between memories and cherished moments.

Ultimately, Pine Hearts serves as a tribute to the beauty of memories and the significance of honoring our loved ones through the stories we share and the experiences we create.