Remember Limbo? You know, that little Indie game that won some awards back in 2010. It’s been downloaded well over 3 million times as well, no big deal. Apparently, that game was something of a success. In 2014, Playdead announced Inside a spiritual successor to Limbo. Inside went through a number of development issues. Interestingly, the game was partially funded by the Danish Film Institute. In 2016, Inside released to universal critical acclaim.
Much like Limbo, Inside is a puzzle platformer. The player character is an unnamed boy who explores a surreal environment presented as a monochromatic 2.5D platform game. The game is dark, with colour used sparingly to highlight parts of the environment, and mostly silent, with occasional musical cues. The player controls the boy who walks, runs, swims, climbs, and uses objects to overcome obstacles and progress in the game.
Also, like in Limbo the boy can die in various ways. Many of these deaths are presented realistically and are often graphic. You must go from A to B traversing environments and solving puzzles. Slowly, you’ll begin to get a sense of just what might be happening.
If you enjoyed Limbo in any way, then you’ll love Inside. In a lot of ways, Playdead have taken everything that was brilliant about Limbo and turned it up a notch or two. The game has a kind of deafening silence that can be very effective in creating a creepy atmosphere, especially as you make your way through a variety of strange, abandoned facilities. I was always intrigued when playing Inside, the questions it presents are really compelling.
The sombre, bleak tones of the world that is presents lead to quite the calming experience. There are stressful moments during some of the “chase” sections. However, nothing Inside throws at you is particularly frustrating. I got a real sense that Playdead were much more interested in telling a story. The puzzles require thought but none will leave you stumped for very long.
Another aspect of Inside that I enjoyed was the unique art style. Much like Limbo, it too is really nice to look at.
You could feel a little underwhelmed by Inside. Well, that is until the truly shocking conclusion. The journey is well worth what it leads to, that is for certain. The ending has produced a number of theories in my mind, all of which are deeply fascinating. I highly recommend you check out the hidden ending, it’s fantastic.
The ability to almost seamlessly load any checkpoint in the game is impressive. It’s a small thing but I thought it was cool.
The only criticisms I can aim at Inside are regarding its price and length. The game doesn’t overstay its welcome, you will have it complete in just a couple of hours. Still, this is one of those games that rarely appears on sale. Even when it does it can still be pricey. However, whatever you pay for it you can guarantee you’ll be getting one of the best Indie games out there. While it was short, I really enjoyed my time with Inside. It’s a wonderul game that tells a dark yet strangely touching tale, one that everyone should experience.
The Final Score - 9/10
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