8 Things We Wish We Knew Before Starting Pentiment

Jumping into a game in any historical setting can be a little daunting, but Pentiment takes it to a new level. The murder mystery adventure game, set in 16th century Bavaria at the cusp of the Reformation, can feel intimidating to new players.

There's a lot to do in Pentiment, and countless people to talk to. Overwhelming is too weak a word for the experience, especially when you have to balance this with the added historical contexts to navigate. If you feel intimidated, don't worry too much – we're here with some pointers to make your stay in rural Bavaria a little easier.

8/8 You Don't Have To Be A History Buff

One of the draws of Pentiment, and perhaps one of the aspects that makes it more intimidating than most adventure-style games, is its extreme attention to historical accuracy. As a result, you may feel like you won't be able to keep up with it or may fail to grasp some conventions and customs of the period.

Don't fret. Pentiment does not want you to feel lost in the weeds – at least, not when it comes to its setting. Any words or phrases that may have specific contexts are highlighted in red, and with the press of a button, you'll be given a brief explanation of whatever it is and its importance. Don't be afraid; you'll know what you need to. Obsidian wanted the game to be approachable, so they've given you all the tools you need.

7/8 Get Ready To Read

Do you like reading? Well, hopefully, you do. Pentiment is built on text – for a good reason, too. It is a game that centers on a monastery illuminating manuscripts, after all, with all the beautiful calligraphy that entails. Of course, a lot of reading is definitely not a negative. We're fans of text-heavy games, especially ones with such rich history – like the town of Tassing and of 16th-century Europe.

Still, you should know going into the game that it is very reading-heavy – it expects you to engage with it on its level and terms. You should, though, as you don't want to miss out on such a unique aesthetic experience if nothing else.

6/8 Talk To Everyone

Do not ignore townsfolk, whatever you do. There is plenty to learn from even the idle chatter of local people – they can dish out petty gossip, tell you historical background on the town, or point you in the right (or wrong) direction for your investigation. It's not unlike an authentic, small town in that way – if you want the lowdown on the relationships, personal beefs, and scandal, all you have to do is find the right person, and they'll tell you whatever they know.

You must make the rounds every day and speak to everyone you can spot. Maybe they'll just say, "God bless you," but there's always the chance they may give you some invaluable information. If you want to figure out whodunnit (this is a detective game, after all) then the best course of action is to actually get to know the "whos" who could have "dunnit."

5/8 You Can't Do Everything

You can promise to have dinner with multiple people, but that doesn't mean you'll actually go. It's not exactly your fault – sometimes, someone with much more power than you or your original hosts wants you in a specific place, and how will you refuse? Still, you may be missing out on information if you make one choice over another.

This isn't the kind of game that allows you do-overs, and it automatically saves, so your choices are permanent unless you want to start a new file. Don't stress about it too much; just try to do whatever you think is best.

4/8 Even Innocent Choices Can Have Big Effects

Sometimes, you won't know that one of your dialogue choices had an actual, tangible effect until you're trying to persuade someone and see the little, red, downfacing arrows that indicate displeasure. Oops. How were you supposed to know that such an innocent action, such as trying to say hello to ne'er do well Martin, would actually lead to him disliking you more?

Actions have consequences, but considering Pentiment gives you a "will remember that" disclaimer when you make certain choices, you may be tricked into thinking those are the only choices that matter. They're not. Be vigilant.

3/8 You Can Look At Andreas' Thoughts

In some conversations, you may see Andreas take a pensive pose and a thought-bubble hovering just beneath the other speech options. You may be tempted to rush over that, but it's pretty useful. This option allows you to see Andreas' thought process, weighing his options to best steer the conversation to what he needs.

It's a great resource when you're just as stumped as what to say as Andreas is, so do use it whenever it appears. It plays to the strengths and educational background you gave Andreas. It's critical to your success.

2/8 People Move Around

They have schedules, so don't expect them to be in the same place all day, every day. You must understand where people are meant to be on any given day in case you want to talk to them. Certain events, like the village ladies spinning wool on one of the first days after the murder, take a whole group of townsfolk away from their usual haunts.

These events also eat up the day, so be warned that you may be depriving yourself of other conversations or investigations. Instead, pay attention to people, to what they say, and you'll find yourself a few steps closer to solving the murder.

1/8 Every Character Is In Your Journal

If you find yourself grasping at straws, trying to remember the name (or face) of certain characters, it's all good. Andreas has conveniently and thoughtfully catalogued every single character in his journal. including a picture. And it's in alphabetical order, so you can quickly flip through the pages and find whoever you're looking for.

While this won't tell you everything about them, it's good to have a tiny bit of background on every character. Sometimes, you feel a little lost in the wilds, trying to figure out what everyone's deal is. Andreas gets it. He must get often confused, too.

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