Several of my favourite games are basically just choose-your-own-adventure books and Beacon Pines makes that connection more explicit. It's an adventure game where you explore environments and unlock new words, which you can then deploy during pivotal story moments when the camera pulls back to reveal the whole game takes place on the pages of a book.
It looks great, and it now has a release date: September 22nd.
Here's a new trailer to accompany the release date:
The story follows small town 12-year-olds (and animal people) Luka and Rolo as they explore the mystery of an abandoned fertiliser plant at the edge of town. As you wander around the storybook dioramas, touching things you ought not and chatting to people, you'll occasionally uncover new verbs like "chill" or "hide" or "ponder". You can then deploy those words during the story moments to alter the scene that follows.
Your branching paths through the story are depicted on a literal tree, but much like a CYOA book, you can keep your fingers between the pages and hop back to previous decisions at any time. This frees the story up to go wrong in funny or creepy ways, because you can always rewind and solve your problems with a newly discovered word later. When Lauren played the demo last year, one of the words she discovered was "shit", and I very much like the idea of trying to work out where best to apply that particularly flexible word.
That demo is still available now via the Becon Pines Steam page, too, if you don't want to wait another four weeks before giving it a try.