On my ongoing quest to catch up on many of the highly praised indie games out there, it was only a matter of time before I played Inside (created by the same people who made another well-known indie game, Limbo). Having already seen a playthrough online, I still couldn’t help but buy this game for myself when it went on sale for roughly $2 (I mean, how could I pass up such a good deal?). Even though the surprises had since been spoiled for me, was Inside still worth it? Well, dear readers, the review below will answer that question…
Opening with a young boy in the woods, the graphics and atmosphere immediately gave me strong Little Nightmares vibes, which is always a good thing. It’s not long before you come upon some thoroughly sketchy dudes and end up being pursued by vicious dogs, cementing in your mind that something quite unsavory is taking place. Something that will start to make more sense the farther your journey takes you. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t already played, but this game does a really good job of telling an interesting story without any dialogue and escalating the mystery as you progress.
As far as gameplay is concerned, the game is a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer. Too often, these kinds of atmospheric games tend to look nice on the surface, but turn out to be a drag to play. Fortunately, Inside doesn’t forget that an intriguing concept is not alone responsible for making a game engaging to play. Your character moves at a good speed and can jump and interact with objects. Puzzles are actually fun, intuitive, and just the right level of difficulty, neither too easy or too frustrating.
I feel like I can’t say too much more while also avoiding spoilers, but if you’re a fan of atmospheric horror games like Little Nightmares, I would definitely recommend you try this game for yourself. (Heck, I had the whole game spoiled for me, and I still had a lot of fun.) For me, Inside is one of those rare, dare I say it, perfect games, partly because it is an amazing example of a horror game that’s scary without traditional monsters or jumpscares. Okay, light “spoiler”. There is a massive room later on with some unidentified machine in the distance. Every few seconds, there is a distant flash of light, followed by a pulse that destroys anything in its path. Especially, well, flesh. Even though I never saw what was causing the destructive pulse, and it was clearly not some sort of organic creature, the intrigue of the unknown made this a particularly memorable section of the game for me.
Inside only took me about 3.5 hours to complete, and it usually sells for $19.99. Honestly, I would still say it’s worth it, but it goes on sale for roughly $5 fairly often, so you might as well wait for the price to drop. For that price, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed!
This post was originally published on The Duck of Indeed on October 8, 2021.