This is a game that had come across my desk yesterday, which I had accidentally overlooked because of my new format, but I was really interested in it. Shindig is an interactive fiction in the style of something like a kids’ exploration picturebook with some tried and true interactive gameplay. As you might know, it’s always been my goal to seek out wholesome indie games because I’m a bit jumpier than a jackrabbit at times. I tend to like games that can be played by anyone. In Shindig I explored this friendly animated world on a quest to help a friendly warthog find treasures to put together a party, or a Shindig rather. It’s cute and thoughtful. Learn more here if you wish.
By the way, this review is sponsored by a review copy from the publishers at Imaginary Friend Games (Thank you!)
Shindig: Island Animals
The game starts off with an email to board a ship and attend a party on an island. The characters all have British accents, so it’s easy to make the leap that the game developers are British as well! This gives the game a Thomas the Tank Engine feeling for me. And speaking of them, each has a playful demeanor that’s very amusing and cute. There’s quite a bit of wordplay in the dialogue that I found entertaining.
Is Shindig Made For Kids?
First of all, of course. For adults? Why not! For some, the promise of a wholesome game with no triggers is an open invitation. I endorse this game as having those characteristics. Overall though, the thing I like most about Shindig is not those characteristics, but the clean game design. It does not contain controller integration, and as far as I can tell has not been ported to Mac, but it requires very few resources and will run on any PC. Navigation is very intuitive, and the main gameplay involved is talking to animals, who are all fully voice-acted. For kids, it would be easy to play. Just explain where to point and click and there should be no issues.
There are a lot of players in the indie game community who enjoy illustrated animal games. It helps us hark to our youth when every kid watched cartoons or visited theme parks with animal mascot character suits. Even I’ve recently realized that my website name is probably inspired by my love of animatronic pizza parlors when I was a kid. And some people just like the way this aesthetic makes them feel.
As you scroll through the partial 3D sidescroller, you’ll have no trouble establishing the environment and player responses to lengthy, yet highly enjoyable, dialogue scenes with creatures of the island like the book store crocodile or the turtle at the lighthouse. It’s cute, but it’s also smart.
So, that’s it for my review of Shindig! Pretty cool people at Imaginary Friends Games, and I think they’re doing a great thing here. I wish there were more games like this on Switch because I think many folks would enjoy that. Maybe someday?
Thank you for reading my site, Mr. Dave Pizza. Constantly spinning the big pizza wheel to see where it lands. I hope you’ll join me next time for another topic! Take care.