Hindsight is a narrative-focused point-and-click game developed by Team Hindsight and published by Annapurna Interactive. You play through protagonist Mary’s life from birth to present day and explore the troubled relationship between her and her parents. As Mary narrates, you begin to grasp the disconnect between the protagonist and her estranged mother and face memories that attempt to invoke deeper questions but fail miserably.
Hindsight barely contains gameplay. As the story is told via vignettes, players will have to click and manipulate the camera to progress. Sometimes you’ll be searching for a specific item or silhouette, while other times you’ll need to rotate the camera in a specific way to jump into another memory. It’s an annoying mechanic that can be extremely disorienting and becomes dull almost instantaneously. With the title lasting two-to-three hours and gameplay being a chore, I was disappointed throughout my experience.
The story didn’t quite resonate with me as well. Hindsight postures as thought-provoking and charming, but in reality, the story feels more like a vague poem with no substance. The majority of Mary’s monologues felt like recycled cliches that don’t land as intended. The narrative lacked conflict and would have greatly benefitted if the vignettes played out as scenes. Constantly, jumping through memories happens so fast that it drastically impacts the experience, making elements of the story feel like a brief blur. Completely intentional but it didn’t work well for me.
Hindsight partially redeems itself with its art style and transitions. From the moment you boot up the game, it feels like you dive into an art book with a heavy pastel color palette. Chances are, when searching for an item, you’ll get lost in the world and appreciate some of the finer details. I also really appreciated the creative transitions and how they seamlessly flow. Whether it be shifting from a cocoon to the woods or swapping moments of joy for sadness, it’s done tastefully.
My biggest gripe with Hindsight is discoverability. Although most of the gameplay is simple and requires no instruction, finding specific items to interact with can be a major pain. I quickly realized highlighted items are barely visable and force the player to search a bit. This resulted in scanning environments for a prolonged period, which drastically interrupted the flow. The same can be said of having to find the perfect angle to jump into another memory. This resulted in quite a bit of fumbling, which only added to my overall frustration with the game.
In theory, Hindsight should be a fantastic experience as it touches on adulthood, reconnecting, and letting go. Although it features a stellar art style with dope transitions, it’s unfortunately dragged down by the annoying gameplay and lackluster story. Instead of pushing the genre forward and providing a unique twist, Hindsight feels like a needle in a haystack that doesn’t deserve to be found.
Hindsight is available now on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam for $14.99.
Watch the Review in 3 Minutes for Hindsight.