“It is easy to decide on what is wrong to wear to a party, such as deep-sea diving equipment or a pair of large pillows, but deciding what is right is much trickier.” – Lemony Snicket
Shindig is a wholesome new point-and-click adventure about travelling to a new island and helping to throw a party for the residents. Players must explore the locale, complete quests and chat with a range of fun characters in this upbeat and positive game.
Developer: Imaginary Friends Games
Released: 2nd September 2021
This game is being reviewed as part of the Indie Game Collective (IGC) showcase.
Shindig utilises classic point-and-click mechanics with its mouse-only controls and simple inventory system. Tasked with helping to organise a party for the locals, the player must source food, drinks, music and decorations. Most of these items can be obtained by talking to the various islanders and completing small quests for them. This leads players on some fun little adventures ranging from finding a fun hat to shrinking an oversized cat, all whilst engaging with a fun mix of characters along the way.
The game world is quite large for the size and length of the game and features a diverse set of locations such as waterfalls, observatories and lighthouses. Once an area has been initially discovered, the in-game map can be used to fast-travel between them.
There are dialogue options but there is no real choice, however, this is not a negative aspect of the game. It helps maintain a sense of interaction and connection with the experience whilst ultimately making sure the player reaches the singular and very positive ending.
Shindig has a simple overarching storyline, the player has arrived on a new island after answering an advert looking for help organising a party. However, it is the stories and backgrounds of the individual characters that the player meets that really build a comprehensive narrative experience as well as the various quests that they provide.
One of the nicest things about Shindig is how inclusive and positive it is without feeling like it is trying to shoehorn in any kind of message or make any single thing the focus of the experience. There are LGBT characters, a boar with a hidden disability, an introverted crocodile and a dog with anxiety all just existing naturally in the game. This is also true of the simple character creation skin which avoids gendering characters whilst also providing a number of different voice and facial hair options as well as a range of possible skin tones. The overall effect is very humanising and wholesome and is a stand out aspect of the game.
Shindig has a simple animation style and its vibrant, colourful cartoon art would feel right at home in a children’s storybook. It is cute, charming and perfectly matches the game’s positivity. Similarly, the varied soundtrack maintains the upbeat feel with sounds ranging from relaxing music box style twinkling, calming piano and bucolic strings right through to more energetic synth tracks.
Somewhat impressively for a two-person development team, the entire game and all the characters are fully voiced. Some of the voice acting is a little bit stiff and weird in places but considering most were voiced by the same person this is to be expected to an extent. For the most part, the voices are sufficiently different across the various characters, they bring the sensitive and quirky dialogue to life and are a welcome addition to the game.
Shindig will provide 2-3 hours of uplifting and heartwarming gameplay, a little longer if you want to complete all of the Steam achievements! It is full of positive messages and ideas, all of which sit comfortably within the dialogue and narrative. The fun quests, eclectic characters and cute aesthetic all blend together beautifully to create a relaxed and calming experience that is also highly satisfying! Overall, this is an impressive feat from the husband and wife dev team and one of the most wholesome games I have played in a long time and I thoroughly recommend it!
As a thank you to our Indie Hive readers, and in conjunction with this review, we have a Steam key for Shindig games to giveaway courtesy of Imaginary Friends Games!
For more details and your chance to win (or just to chat about indie games), simply join our friendly Discord server and check out the announcements!
Looking for some more wholesome gaming experiences, why not check out:
Luna’s Fishing Garden: A Delightful New Fishing and Building Game – The Stillness of the Wind – A Relaxing Game with Goats! – Old Man’s Journey – Regret, Reminiscing and Reconciliation