Game Review: Hindsight

Release date: 2022
Version played: PlayStation 5 in 2022

A point-and-click style puzzle game with a very strong narrative focus, Hindsight was released in 2022 for iOS devices, PC via Steam, and consoles, and was published by Annapurna Interactive. Telling the full life story of Mary (Reiko Aylesworth) from the moment of her birth until the present day, players learn of Mary’s relationship with her parents, her childhood, and her own career ambitions.

+ the game has great visuals, which reminded me a lot of my recently reviewed Moncage. The game and puzzle display is also similar, as you rotate around a focal point in an attempt to line things up
+ fantastic voice work from sole actress, with some surprisingly emotional moments (though they were hardly unexpected). As mentioned, this is a narrative game first, and a puzzle game second, and I did enjoy the perspectives of heritage and family relationships through the lens of an older person

– this really isn’t a game; it is more an interactive story than a real puzzle game. Imagine if instead of walking around the house in Gone Home, you were flipping through pages in a photo album instead, waiting for the voice overs to finish before clicking on the next photo
– the entire gimmick of rotating and ‘tapping’ to move through different stages of each memory is clearly one that is made for touch screen devices (the App Store description even says it is best on iPad). The few interactive bits, such as sliding open a door or moving toys off a rug feel like a chore with the controller, and I can only imagine would work much better on a touch device. Disappointingly, the touchpad on the DualSense was not even able to be used in these instances

> the total game time for me, from initial download to earning all trophies, was about two hours

Should you play this game: I was fooled by the trailer into thinking this was more like Moncage than Gone Home. It is almost unheard that I’d ever say this, but there is nothing in this game that warrants playing it yourself than just watching a full run through on YouTube. But truly, I don’t even recommend that.

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