I know what you’re thinking: “Boy that Townscaper thing sure is neat!” Yes, it is, I love it too and we loved it in our review. BUT! As tempting as it is to gush about it some more here, I actually want to draw your attention to another excellent game that came out on mobile this week, as it has really taken me by surprise in a great way. I’d never heard of Pinstripe previously, and it falls squarely into that “beloved indie game that released on PC and consoles years ago that I likely would never have experienced if it didn’t eventually come to mobile” category. Astonishingly, Pinstripe is also a game that was created by just one person.
You could call Pinstripe a puzzle platformer, and that’s not wrong, but I think much more than that it’s a narrative adventure game. You play a man named Teddy whose adorable daughter Bo gets abducted by a creepy, shadowy figure named Pinstripe, and you set out on a mission to discover what happened to her through a surreal and downright unsettling world. As mentioned there’s a bit of platforming, a bit of shooting, and a whole bunch of environmental puzzle solving. And all of this is… fine, but it’s not the real draw of Pinstripe.
The thing that really elevates this game beyond its core mechanics is the world it takes place in, the characters and their excellent fully voiced dialogue, and the compelling and mysterious storyline tying everything together. That this is the work of one person is just mind boggling. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a dark and disturbing tone to everything in Pinstripe, making it an excellent game to dive into with Halloween just around the corner.
If this was just a puzzle platformer with nothing more than its mechanics, I’d probably have a tougher time recommending it. It’s not that these things are bad per se, but they’re not really strong enough on their own to keep you going through an entire game. And the virtual controls are merely serviceable, though the platforming is simplistic enough that it’s not a deal breaker. But when these mechanics are a means to explore more of the fascinating world and story of Pinstripe, especially because these elements are so tremendously strong, then it all comes together into a cohesive experience that’s easy to recommend, especially at two measly dollars.