At this point, a title doesn’t matter so much, just the words underneath. The Pine Hearts demo is adorable, and that’s difficult for a 6ft 5in alpha-male bruiser to say so. You’ll have to ask them. To me, Little Nook and Hyper Luminal Games get the ‘W’ for the week: wholesome.

As Tyke, you travel to the Pine Hearts Caravan Park to reconnect with the wonderful memories you had visiting this Scottish park with your father, who has sadly passed, much like the story behind Creative Director Rob Madden’s own experience, captured here to pull at your heartstrings.

Being a soppy git, that emotional charge pulled me in, but it’s not something I experienced so much with my experience of the demo. This isn’t a bittersweet tale (yet) that will have you reaching for the tissues or wishing you carried on playing Fortnite. To be fair, I’d rather play this demo than the latter.

Pine Heart Game for Steam
Source: Steam

Pine Hearts is a lovely experience – yes – even at this early stage. Presented from an isometric viewpoint, you take Tyke into nature to explore the park, only to get roped into numerous quests for the visitors. But quit your moaning – you want to do it. It feels meaningful, gives a sense of purpose, and reinforces that elusive community spirit many of us are missing out on.

Tasks include finding tent pegs, locating a Gruffalo-like beast, and chopping wood. For each task completed, you’ll earn experience droplets that unlock new areas, albeit, limited in this demo. In one early scene, this actually reproduced a childhood memory for Tyke, and it’s easy to see that this has a lot of potential for being a game that’ll make you melt.

The graphics are vibrant, the characters are cute, and the music is upbeat. Honestly, this really does feel like such a lovely space to occupy that it makes me want to go camping. Alas, the weather in Blighty is abysmal, and I don’t have the resilience to brave the cold and mud. The Pine Hearts demo is the next best thing.

Pine Hearts is available during the Steam Next Fest; this is another must for those looking for a cosy adventure that will encourage you to write a few hundred words to say how much it made you feel. Lovely.

It also works great on the Steam Deck!