Pinstripe is a game made over the course of 5 years, by the one-man team Atmos Games, where Thomas Brush is the man of the hour. The game was funded by Kickstarter, and I am really impressed by the final product.
Thomas Brush, creator of award-winning games Coma and Skinny, reveals a gorgeous art style, breath-taking score, and chilling story with influences from The Nightmare Before Christmas, Coraline, and Alice in Wonderland. – pinstripegame.com
Looking at these influences, I quickly figured out that this game would be my cup of tea. I adore these worlds. Pinstripe is a beautiful, yet fairly short adventure game about Ted, an ex-minister, searching the afterlife for his daughter Bo, and her wicked kidnapper Mr. Pinstripe. On an interesting side-note, the sub-title of the game is: “A Father in Hell,” which serves for an interesting homonym – the priest and the parent. An interesting and clever touch!
On our journey through Hell, we have to look for clues and puzzles on the whereabouts of Bo and Mr. Pinstripe. I’ve easily taken a liking to every character I have encountered in the game. They are interesting, witty, creepy, and everything in between. They’re weird, and I like it.
Mr. Pinstripe is probably the most memorable of all the characters – a mysterious and intimidating man who lives in Red Wash, a lake deep down in the bowels of Hell. The rest of the inhabitants of Red Wash, however, seem to be only shadows of what they once were… As if the darkness is repeatedly taking pieces of them, leaving them on the verge of insanity.
One thing I will truly praise the game for is the voice acting. Mr. Pinstripe’s voice gave me the chills, making my spine tingle. It’s phenomenal, skipping between deliriously happy and crazed lunatic. As the characters’ voices vibrate through my headphones, the game gives an even more present touch of the uncomfortable – making me feel like the voice is coming from right behind me. Fun fact: there are several cameo appearances by popular Youtube personalities such as PewDiePie and JackSepticEye, making a highly interesting contribution in lending their recognizable voices to a small indie game like Pinstripe.
In his own description of the game, Thomas Brush is being true to his word: “The long and slim figures of the characters remind me of Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, while the funny and random remarks bear resemblance of Alice in Wonderland”. Speaking of remarks, I love the humor in this game – with a touch of weirdness, and a drop of insanity. I cannot help but laugh at some of the characters.
The art style of the game is gorgeous too. Along with a fantastic score and ambience, the gameplay works exceptionally well. As one progresses through the game, one might notice the developer’s awesome attention to detail. Some of them are made as a clever part of the gameplay, examining items closely in order to find more clues and solve puzzles. Save points in the game are portraits of different people for example (Kickstarter-backers, perhaps?), an interesting addition I do not think I have seen before in other games.
Throughout Pinstripe, you collect Frozen Drops, which is the currency of the game. Here is where the replay value comes in: if you’re an achievement hunter, Pinstripe is for you! There are several things you can do with these drops, but they can only be achieved when playing the game several times.
According to my Steam account, it took 3 hours to complete the game – I took my time talking to everybody, searching through each nook and cranny for stuff. I like how the puzzles were not too challenging, maintaining the flow of the game. However, I do have some mixed feelings about the ending. Without spoiling anything, I can say that it was beautiful, yet complicated. The game had a great build-up, but the ending was kind of anti-climactic.
Pinstripe is enjoyable and casual – with memorable characters, a beautiful atmosphere and great voice acting, it is a thoroughly well-made game. It’s clever, funny, mad and is definitely an experience you should not pass up.
Pinstripe is available for Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS, but hopefully it will be available on other platforms soon!