Game Title: Inside
Developed By: Playdead
Published By: Playdead
Released: December 18, 2017
Platform: Apple (Universal)
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Age Rating: 12+ For Frequent/Intense Cartoon or Fantasy Violence, Infrequent/Mild Realistic Violence, Frequent/Intense Horror/Fear Themes, and Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity
Number of Players: 1 Player
Price: Free (IAP to unlock full game at $7.99)
Compatible with iPhone 6S, iPad Air 2, Apple TV or later.
Reviewed by: Jason (Indie Game Lover)
Playdead has quite a knack for creating atmospheric puzzle adventure games. There first title, Limbo, was a smash hit on every console it released on, including apple devices. It was haunting, clever and immersive. Now, a few years later we have their latest release called Inside. Inside takes the clever puzzles and adventure gameplay and turns it up to eleven.
The story is told through playing the game as there is no narrative or story dialogue. Everything is told through the player moving through this dystopian future. You will move your character through this world in hopes of escaping the people that are after you. Often you will feel scared and there were many times a person, or rabid dog, or evil sea creature is inches from getting you, which had me at the edge of my seat screaming at my phone. Other times it feels haunting, because the setting of the game is in a dark, dystopian future, where people are almost zombies, under the control of this regime. The game opens in a forest, and almost feels like Limbo at the beginning. Quickly you will move from the forest to a farm, to like a factory. The atmosphere is tangible, for example in the farm section, there are dead animals around, it’s dark and rainy, the environment makes you feel uneasy. There are several puzzles where you must hit a switch, to puzzles where you can control other people, and make them clear a way for you. The puzzles are always clever even if they are sometimes obtuse. In one part of the game you are in a line with other people and you must mimic what they are doing. They will walk every few steps, then stop. If you continue moving, you will get shot with a taser and get dragged off. Then once you continue to move they start to jump, then take steps. You must follow the pattern perfectly, or else you will die. Most of the puzzles require a trial and error approach. Usually you can figure it out, but if you do struggle with a puzzle, just play around and think about it, and you will most likely figure it out.
The graphics are stunning on my iPhone 7. It runs buttery smooth. My computer which is only less than two years old can run this game, but it doesn’t look as nice as it does on my iPhone screen. The colors pop, and the game models are in full 3D as to Limbo which was like a 2.5D perspective. There is excellent lighting and even weather elements. Often, it’s dark, sometimes with only a little light shining through. The animation is fluid, when your character jumps, or climbs it looks incredible and detailed. The sound design is great, as most of the time you will only hear sound effects and little music. This makes the game intense at times and unnerving. At times music will kick in, and when it does it’s fantastic.
The game controls very well for a touch screen game. You will move left and right by dragging on the screen with your left hand. With your right hand you can drag up to jump and if you want to interact with something, you hold on the screen with your left hand. I never really felt that if I didn’t make a jump it was because of the touch screen controls. If you have a game controller compatible with an iPhone, you can use that and it then it really feels great.
Inside will haunt you long after you play it and will make you think. This is one of the best puzzle, adventure games you will ever play. It is smooth, clever and looks and sounds fantastic. Do yourself a favor and try the game for free. You can play the game for a bit to see if you like it, and if you do, take the plunge and unlock the full game, you will not regret it.
Game Score: 96%