In Pinstripe, you play as Teddy, an ex-minister who is riding a train with his young daughter Bo. As kids do, Bo runs off, intrigued by a balloon. It’s this distraction that enables her to be kidnapped by the evil Pinstripe. Not only that, but Pinstripe has taken Bo to the depths of hell. Sit tight Bo, we’re on our way!
Pinstripe is a platforming, puzzle adventure. First thing you’re drawn to is the art style. The fact that the game was made by one person is ludicrously impressive. It’s like stepping into a painting and there is an obvious Tim Burton influence that shines proudly. And so it should, as there is a definite Nightmare Before Christmas vibe going on here. It’s wonderfully dark. As you progress through the 2 hour story, you’ll also see a whole host of bizarre yet endearing characters who will, in their own quirky way, help you to find Bo. One of the first people you meet will present you with a gift, and this will be your weapon throughout the whole game.
So what beast of a weapon do you receive to plough through the frozen depths of hell? What weapon is so fierce that it will be able to destroy the demonic nemesis that is Pinstripe? An RPG? A bazooka? Nope – a slingshot. But don’t worry, the slingshot is surprisingly effective. The pen is mightier than the sword they say. And that’s what Pinstripe is all about. You won’t be blasting through endless waves of enemies here – they are few and far between. It’s more about using your head. There are puzzles to complete on your journey, but not many of them will have you reaching for a guide. They are simple enough, ranging from putting lights in a certain order to playing spot the difference in photographs.
There are also Frozen drops sporadically placed around the 6 different environments you’ll encounter. These serve as a currency in hell. Make sure you grab as many of these as you can as you’ll reach a point where you need 300 to travel somewhere. These can also be used in some well hidden shops for outfits and more, but it’s unlikely you’ll get enough to purchase these on your first playthrough. Luckily your frozen drops carry over into your next runthrough, and if you’re a trophy hunter you’ll be wanting to visit again to get the 100% (no Platinum, sadly). That being said, even if you’re not a trophy hunter you’ll want to visit here again. Without giving too much away, the game saves some really cool surprises for your 2nd runthrough. I can’t go into detail (no spoilers here), but you receive something at the end of the game which will reveal new areas and more. It’s really charming that Pinstripe rewards players for completing the game in such a way, and left me feeling that traveling to hell was more than worth it for such an interesting trip.
Pinstripe is a fascinating exploration of the darker side of life. Bizarre, bold and beautiful.
Punk rating: 8/10