The best games are often more than the sum of their parts. With a limited budget and manpower, most indies focus on grabbing the consumers’ attention with odd graphics or a unique gameplay concept. I didn’t experience Apple Arcade at all, so when I first caught a glimpse of Takeshi and Hiroshi in Nintendo’s August Indie World showcase, I was caught off-guard by the stop-motion aesthetic and cute story pitch. Immediately after the presentation, it shadow dropped on the Nintendo Switch. I couldn’t stop myself from picking it up.
Takeshi and Hiroshi is a simple tale about two brothers. Takeshi is a fourteen-year-old game developer with big dreams, and Hiroshi is his bright-eyed seven-year-old little brother. While Takeshi wants to become rich and famous, Hiroshi wants nothing more than to play the awesome games his brother produces. After Hiroshi catches a glimpse of Takeshi’s newest game, Takeshi decides to control all of the action himself to make his brother happy. The story is well-thought and left a huge impression. Few games have pulled so many different emotions in every scene. The beautiful story is most of what kept me going!
The gameplay loop is simple, you have to choose a wave of enemies to send at Hiroshi. You’ll have five waves to satisfy him in a session. The game will reset if the hero dies or Hiroshi’s joy value drops to zero. You have to take risks and make him feel like he’s overcoming a true challenge. It often felt like a puzzle, and I had many close calls. While the gameplay was simple, I really enjoyed it.
Takeshi and Hiroshi is an incredibly short game. It took me about five hours to see the end. This is the type of game that comes around and reminds me why indie developers are so important. The thoughtful gameplay and beautiful stop-motion story-telling would never come out of an AAA production. This is the type of game that was more than a game to me. I’d recommend it as more than a game. It’s an experience, one I’ll remember for years, and I can’t wait to see what Oink Games does next.