INSIDE Review – I’m not really a fan of puzzle games, except for puzzle-adventure kind of games like the Monkey Island series back in the 90s.
However, INSIDE got me hooked all the way til the end of the game, thanks to its breathtaking design, unique atmosphere, and the curiosity it creates to everything you see on the screen.
INSIDE is a game made by Playdead (who also made the popular game Limbo). It’s a side- scroller game, meaning it’s a 2D game where you can only go either left or right (and well, up and down too in certain cases). You can only jump and grab an object, but these uncomplicated controls make INSIDE simple to play, yet require your brain to do some work.
The visual design is simply stunning and successfully gives you that eerie, mysterious feel of the game. It is a dark game in a sense but it never really forces itself too much to scare you directly. It’s just that the art and design really nail it. And, you are meant to get out of the mysterious place, yet the game forces you to go lower and lower below ground (which gives that feeling of hopelessness).
There are moments where I could feel my adrenaline pumping and I feel a tingling at the back of my neck.
You are a boy, running from something or some bad people, in a place somewhere that you don’t even know about (or as the team puts it: “Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project.”). There are no dialogues, no story line, but you do have guesses and interpretations based on what’s happening as you play the game.
The goal is obvious from the start, keep going and escape from the horrible place. Instead of giving you hope, the team decides to make it worse as you play along: you keep going deeper and deeper and things get darker and sinister.
The puzzles are great and quite different from one to the other. Some are simple and straightforward, but some got me stuck for a while til I found my “Aha!” or “Eureka!” moment.
There is just one problem though. The game is really, really short. After completing the game, my Steam recorded my playing time as 3 hours! It does not really have a replay value in a sense as everything is linear, and the game will cost you $19.99.
However, INSIDE is very well polished, unique, and special. Short, but memorable. Definitely to grab if you are a fan of puzzle games or want something unique.
Disclosure: Review license was supplied for reviewing but all opinions are mine and not paid