I was gifted a Backbone for Christmas, which is essentially a controller that attaches to your phone. Along with providing better controls when playing on my phone, the Backbone also came with a month of Xbox Gamepass, which has provided me access to a number of indie and small games that I might not have been able to play otherwise. It’s been a great month of games.
Pentiment is a narrative-driven adventure game from Obsidian Entertainment. Set in 16th century in the fictional town of Tassing, Bavaria, the game centers on Andreas Maler, an illuminator (artist) working at the local Abbey. When a murder of a prominent noble occurs, Andreas begins an investigation in the name of helping a friend. The player is able to wander around the town, interviewing various characters in an attempt to get at the truth — despite the fact that there never seems to be enough time and the answers seem hard to unravel.
One of the many things that makes this game so compelling to me is how it presents various perspectives on the truth (eliminating any clear objectivity) and how it deals with the passage of time. As the title hints at (a pentiment is an underlying image or forms that have been painted over), the “truth” is often a layering of stories and time.