I tend to stay away from Indie games, in my experience very few have been worth my time, as most lack any form of holding power by just not having fun gameplay or an intriguing story. Every now and then you come across a gem of a game though, like Minecraft back in the day which has exploded in popularity, or Journey which is still quite niche, but an amazing game nonetheless.
Pinstripe is a 2D side scrolling puzzle / adventure game that follows the story of Teddy, an ex minister who is on a journey with his 3 year old daughter Bo, while bumping into the villainous Pinstripe. While the game isn’t as enthralling as other indie games I’ve played, it ranks highly as the game does an amazing job of making me care for the characters involved.
Along the way you meet several characters, most of them pretty depressing but are each pretty memorable. I only played the game a short amount of time but I can still recall what they looked like and how they responded to Teddy. All the characters (aside from Teddy himself) have full voice acting and is extremely impressive for whats meant to be an indie game. The vast array of accents and emotion put into the work is better than most AAA titles I’ve played in the past. Bo and George – Teddy’s dog – are 2 standouts of the game who’s voices were always pleasant to hear. The environments you travel through are for most part, always pretty gloomy and bleak, but this adds to the overall feel of the game. The depressing characters, the sense of overall dread from the dialect and general unpleasantness of your surroundings make it a very righteous setting for Teddy’s story, and I wanted to see it through till the end to find out how I’d get out of here.
Gameplay is very simple, but this isn’t really a problem. Taking a side scrolling perspective you travel through the lands finding items and clues that allow you to progress onward. Luckily it’s pretty straight forward and doesn’t require any massive thinking. As time goes on you collect a slingshot which can be used to access new areas and collect ‘oil drops’ a form of currency that can buy items. None of these items are actually needed to finish the game, although at one point you need to buy a ticket to progress which made me search back and forth over the entire map finding these oil drops, which really broke any sense of progression for me, and just seemed like padding to make the game last longer. On the subject of the games length – it’s VERY short. A general first run should take about 2 hours, but once you know what you’re doing you could probably do it in under an hour.
Pinstripe is a simple game with simple mechanics and a simple story. But the story is what kept me on this game. The animation of the characters combined with their amazing voice acting made me genuinely care for Teddy and his daughter, which is rare for me. When Fallout 4 dropped the bombshell at the end with a similar ‘finding the family member’ endeavor, I didn’t care, the game hadn’t done much to make me like any of the characters. But Pinstripe did, the good guys were endearing and the villain Pinstripe who taunted me as the game went on made me see it through. Sadly the game itself is very short and the puzzles could’ve had a bit more to them but I had fun, and I enjoyed it, and seeing the ending really hit me in a way that very games have done over the years.