INSIDE is a complete mystery. I’ve never played a game just to see if I can uncover a little bit more of the story. I would play half an hour more, just to see if I can get another clue behind the decrepit dystopia that is its world. The world is pretty barren of any detail. However, it’s this lack of detail that makes questions arise, such as, WTF is going on here? Unfortunately, the gameplay isn’t completely unique, and nothing from the game really stands out.
It’s from the makers of Limbo, so fans of the game will have an idea of what to expect. There are actually a few references to Limbo, from the mind control worms, to anti gravity puzzles. Without spoiling anything, Limbo seems to take place after the events of INSIDE. There’s no dialogue or cutscenes, but there are a few clues throughout. For a full analysis of the story and connections (major spoilers), check out Delta Bot’s video here.
Gameplay – It’s Strength and Weakness
There are no tutorials or directions in INSIDE. The game introduces a nameless red-shirted boy on the run. Everything and everyone wants to kill/capture him, and the player has to be creative to solve the different puzzles thrown your way. It’s really fun for a while, but some of the later puzzles just test your timing abilities. This is one of the big problems with INSIDE. It’s so simple, that it doesn’t allow itself to have more complicated puzzles that really engage the player. Aside from the direction controls, there is only a general interact button, along with a jump button. Puzzle games have had harder puzzles with less buttons, but the effort for INSIDE just wasn’t there. Luckily, the controls are smooth, and the whole game does feel polished, so the lacking puzzles don’t destroy the experience.
INSIDE is a good game, but there are too many things that keep it from being great. At a $25 price point, there are other games that you can snag for less. Further, the 4ish hours of gameplay, with minimal replay value, left me wanting more.