There are many games which are made up of complex narrative structures and ideas. Whole worlds and systems are created, with a mass of characters parading around with their own objectives and sub-stories. Then there are games where the story is very much a human one full of sorrow, nostalgia, and strong emotive feelings. It’s these gaming stories which have fast emerged over the last few years and it’s something that Hindsight runs with. 

hindsight review 1

Telling the tale of a woman who is coming to terms with the death of her mother and the literal packing up of her house and the unpacking of her memories, Hindsight is a beautiful game; one that tugs at the heartstrings throughout. 

I’m sorry to be slightly personal here, but I’ve been playing Hindsight just as I’ve lost my father, and that means it’s all very pertinent to me. But for others, the game tells a story over several chapters, focusing on a restaurant owner; a middle-aged woman. She finds out that her mother has died and so travels back to the family home to pack up each room in the house. Each chapter of Hindsight covers a space in the house, like the living room or the dining room. But the narrative switches back in time, taking us through the ages of the woman and her parents as well as mixing in the present day. 

The story is explained through pictures of the past and how you move through them, as well as via the voice-over of the main character. The writing is extremely good and it tackles themes of death, loss, family, and forgiveness. The themes and stories are delicately told with compassion and poetic beauty, ensuring that it is all familiar to us. It has a lovely feel to it and come the end, as the credits roll, you will be left wanting to ring your parents as soon as come be.  

hindsight review 2

Hindsight was originally released on the mobile scene, and you can see that in the gameplay. It has that ‘touch screen’ gameplay design element that is perfect for those devices, but it has been well worked as it moves to console, transitioning nicely. How it works is that you get given a static picture of the scene at the time and in that scene some things can be interacted with, leading you into the next scene or memory. That might be a person who you need to click on, or an object. You may have to rotate the image in different directions to get the angle you need to lead you on. 

It sounds more complicated than it actually is to play. In fact, from the moment you start Hindsight, it all becomes very intuitive and brilliantly simple. There are innovative gameplay mechanics that play out within this format though; at one point you chop vegetables, forward and rewind time itself, and set a table for dinner. There are some nice surprises along the way and the game never gets boring or stale, yet at time it does get tricky to spot what is needed in order to move on. Thankfully Hindsight is always giving clues.

The storytelling is excellent but a big part of that is found in the visuals. Hindsight is wonderful in that regard. It is never afraid to mix the real and the abstract in telling its tale, and this means that whilst you may find yourself in the kitchen, as the narrative becomes more disturbed the room feels with water which adds to the emotion. The colours, lighting, and design are fantastic. But it’s how Hindsight has been put together through the editing, and via the movement through the scenes, that should gather up the biggest of plaudits. 

hindsight review 3

The sound is brilliant as well; both via the score and the voice-over. The former of these is emotive and stunning with a mixture of piano and some amazing musical drones, whilst the voice-over itself is beautifully paced, delivered with the right balance of emotion and restraint. 

Hindsight manages to hit all the right emotional notes, and personally, it has come at just the right moment in my life. For those who like narrative-led journeys and clever storytelling through visuals, then this will be a must-try. 

In all, Hindsight is a brilliant examination of grief, and the moving on in life thereafter. 

Hindsight is on the Xbox Store

There are many games which are made up of complex narrative structures and ideas. Whole worlds and systems are created, with a mass of characters parading around with their own objectives and sub-stories. Then there are games where the story is very much a human one full of sorrow, nostalgia, and strong emotive feelings. It’s these gaming stories which have fast emerged over the last few years and it’s something that Hindsight runs with.  Telling the tale of a woman who is coming to terms with the death of her mother and the literal packing up of her house and…

Pros:

  • Brilliant story
  • Visual story telling
  • Unique gameplay mechanic
  • Soundtrack

Cons:

  • Will be too slow for some

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Annapurna Interactive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 6 December 2022
  • Launch price from - £TBC
TXH Score

4.5/5

Pros:

  • Brilliant story
  • Visual story telling
  • Unique gameplay mechanic
  • Soundtrack

Cons:

  • Will be too slow for some

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Annapurna Interactive
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, Switch, PC
  • Version reviewed - Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 6 December 2022
  • Launch price from - £TBC

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2 Comments
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Scott
Scott
1 month ago

Brilliant review, going to download this tonight. Also I’m sorry for your loss.

GARETH BRIERLEY
GARETH BRIERLEY
Reply to  Scott
1 month ago

Thank you Scott