The world of video games is large indeed. Last year, it encompassed difficult open-world dark fantasy titles like “Elden Ring” (for many, the game of 2022), surprisingly Zen experiences like “PowerWash Simulator” and this one, which I started just before the holidays and am slowly making my way through. “Pentiment” is set in 16th-century Bavaria, and you play as a manuscript illuminator who must eventually investigate a murder. (It sells itself, right?) With a look that tries to approximate medieval art styles, this is a largely text-driven game that becomes more engrossing the longer you play it.
In 2018, Pentiment developers Obsidian Entertainment were acquired by Microsoft, so it doesn’t seem fair to call recognition by a widely circulated mainstream newsletter “indie love”. But I think it’s fair to say Pentiment is a niche game. Within games media, it’s been widely discussed/praised — immaculate art design and impressive moral system — but it doesn’t seem like a title that would typically garner such placement. “Books-level boring” (in a good way) per The Besties.
I have yet to play Pentiment, but the more I hear about it, the more I’m itching to invest in it (after the three books on my nightstand). Very cool placement from The New York Times. Congrats, Obsidian.