Shindig: A Game to Make You Feel Happy and Safe

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.

Thanks!

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.

Knights and Bikes – This is A Fun And Heartfelt Adventure!

I knew when I read the description of Knights and Bikes on the Nintendo eShop page, and the bounty of awards adorning it, that this was probably going to be pretty cool. It explores some great themes like imagination, curiosity, and adventure. Also, it’s about finding those adventures in a place you don’t need to journey far to find.

I’ll be exploring some of these topics in my experience with Knights and Bikes, and tell you a little bit about the highlights of the game’s progression. If you’re new to this blog, this is what I do in all my reviews. There’s always something fruitful to discuss when I can find a game like this that gives me plenty to talk about. I hope you enjoy this review.

Slip on Your Wellies to Play Knights and Bikes

If I have to explain the topic of this game, it’s about two adventurous spirits going on a frisbee-throwing, rainboot-stomping, mythical imagination quest. What it’s really about though is a world conforming to the imagination rather than the other way around, something that makes it a unique world to experience. Often, as I think about this game, I think of stories like Peter Pan and Neverland or Alice in Wonderland. It is those types of stories, but different.

Knights and Bikes starts off as a compelling Anglo island story with your standard wispy, jumper, puddle weather, and a bunch of legends and mysteries. I played all the way through the first hour and about 2/3 of the mini-golf course in the story. Luckily I can confirm there are bikes, despite my early doubts. They’re not really a major aspect of the gameplay though, which doesn’t disappoint me, but the title was one of the main things that drew me in.

Thematic Impressions

The further time goes on, it’s kind of like a treasure-concealing obstacle course from something like The Goonies. I’m going to throw Sandlot in there too, which actually makes perfect sense because Demelza, one of the characters, says something about “the year 2000, a long time from now.” I’m still learning to think of the 90s as “nostalgia.” It’s processing though.

Barge
Game RV Park

In the game, a level of magical interaction is present to add an even bigger theme. It is not magic like spell books and apparitions, it is more like a wound-up kid’s detective theme park. The game is so rich with high-detail character and location art, and the elements of farfetchedness from magical themes are pretty darn fun in this adventure!

If you’ve ever watched a program or read a book about a British fishing village, myth and legend are always not too far away in these places. So I think it is culturally accurate for this type of game to take place there.

Knight and Bikes

Knights and Bikes Teamwork

After the introduction, you can play as either character, Demelza or Nessa. I played Nessa almost exclusively. There are occasionally times when you need to switch, like when you feed the geese. Nessa seems the most reasonable but Demelza is ambitious and maybe kind of genius. Whichever character you play, it’s not terribly impeding to the gameplay, and their dialogue is very fun and clever. This is a smart game.

Knights and Bikes
Knights and Bikes

So there’s a major thing you’ll realize when you get this game. I played this on Switch, but it might be a factor in PC versions. This game is set up to be accommodating to a multiplayer audience. You can play it however you like, but it will most likely be a local co-op or solo. You will be able to control both main characters though by switching your controls if you choose solo.

Action Packed Mini-Golf

As you may see when you start this game, it’s mostly about collecting stuff, solving puzzles, and feeding geese. There is plenty of action too–really unique, fun, action. I loved the golf course. Filled with animatronic characters, you complete all 18 holes by using your special abilities. Prepare for frisbee throwing and stomping and some clever obstacles. The main thing you’ll probably notice though is it has little to do with any golf!

Mini-Golf
Knights and Bikes Golf

Enjoyable!

If you want to, I guess you could call the game “funny” but it’s not really that at all. It’s about imagination and the wonderful way it transforms the world and stories. I really liked it.

One last thing, there is an epic story twist later in the story that I read about when I wrote this recommendation. Avoid spoilers before you play if you can, but if you hate surprises it won’t be hard to seek them out. It’s nothing too surprising, but there’s more to this game than meets the eye. I wasn’t discombobulated by it, it’s just there.

Knights and Bikes is a game that makes games art. It is a self-contained masterpiece. Check it out!

I’m Mr. Dave Pizza, I write game recommendations, and you can find more content on MrDavePizza.com or by navigating the menu up above. I’m also on Twitter @MrDavePizza. Thanks for stopping by!