Shindig Reminds Us To Find Fun, Connection, and Joy

We all matter to someone

Shindig Reminds Us To Find Fun, Connection, and Joy
Source: Steam.

About a year or two ago, I played a bit of Shindig. Actually, I played most of the game, where you work as a party planner on an island of anthropomorphized animal characters. They own small businesses on the island, and you can go around helping them with small problems. Once you do so, you can go ahead with the parties. My favorite part was helping a giant cat become small using a cardboard box. She was too snobby about the cereal box I tried, though, so I don't know what's up with that.

Why did I pause? Because I couldn't figure out how to finish the last few quests. That, and Spelunky took up most of my gaming time and spoons so I was focusing on that, plus reviewing other games using the codes that Superjump had provided. By the time I returned to Shindig, I realized it had to be for a special occasion. And what better occasion than my birthday, with a few people on a stream, when I had some time for myself? It was very worth it.


Connecting the Last Few Quests in Shindig

To finish Shindig, you have to get some party elements like streamers, lemonade, and chocolate beet cake. The chocolate beet cake looks amazing and I totally want to try it one day. It took me a bit of trial and error before I realized that I could use the map to avoid walking around the island and meandering. While the meandering was fun, I admit I was annoyed at myself for ignoring the simple solution.

Some of the last few quests aren't that obvious. To get streamers, we need to figure out where to put colored paper. I had to google a walkthrough to figure out how to do the last few puzzles. Fortunately, once I learned what I had to do, then it was a snap. I was able to finish the quests and navigate toward the epilogue.

Source: Steam.

Every Person (and Animal) is Special

In addition to enjoying the gameplay, I strongly support the creators' messages. We can create a space that is safe for us, and that allows us to work together. People don't need to have the same temperaments or likes — Cornelius mentions that he's not a social person and I want to snuggle him and keep him safe when he says that socializing exhausts him. The same goes for his rock. He cares so much about his rock, while explaining that at his previous job, he was judged for needing alone time, and the care for an inanimate object is very sweet.

Shindig also reminds us that the individual matters. Whether they have hooves or paws, or hands as we do, we are significant. And we don't have to contribute to charity or create job powerhouses on the island; we can simply walk around and offer hugs. In the case of the plant that gives hugs, the plant doesn't even move but is a pure delight. It never goes the way of Flowey or Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, despite the initial surprise of the hug. We can trust the dancing palm plant, as much as we can trust the birds and the otters that sell different medicines.

What about you, the player? Are you the party planner needed on the island? As a matter of fact, you are, and more than for planning the shindig. If you weren't there, Astrid remains a giant cat, the pigs have to deal with overly tiny boots and interferences with ballet practice. Your kindness helps different individuals solve their problems. As a result, they come to the party more relaxed and ready to go out there and have fun.

Source: Steam

Most importantly, you can listen. Optional hangouts allow you to go out and talk to the different island residents in their comfort zone. They will talk about what brought them to the island, and why they wanted the quiet life with neighbors within walking distance. Some of the stories are heartbreaking, talking about chronic pain or corporate burnout. Others discuss the joy of love and the connections that they have found on the island. They trust you enough to confide in you about why they left, and what made them change their minds.

It can be easy to forget, with how stressful life is, that you as an individual make a difference. And despite the daily grind or having to do mundane tasks, each day that we have matters to someone else, even if it remains the same for us. We are significant, no matter who we are or where we are in life.

Thank you for this game, Fay and Martyn. I really needed a feel-good story that reminded me of joy in the world, from interacting with others, and the soundtrack was a delight with some great song numbers too!


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