It has been a good year for adventurers. Either if you like a narrative driven experience or you are looking for the brain teasers of puzzle solving, the genre mixed both sides well enough to satisfy everyone’s taste. Games like Firewatch, Layers of Fear, Silence and Batman – A Telltale Series had players following delightful, action packed and even twisted narratives fitting the newer trend of the current generation. But even the older gamers like myself haven’t been left out of the loop and titles like The Witness, Candle and even Unravel or Inside have been around to provide the mental challenge that today’s games need so much.
The best adventure I’ve played this year is short, engaging and somewhat grotesque. Inside is a game depicting through visual narration a gritty and twisted story that I’m not sure I truly understood, but I liked nonetheless. It’s the story of a boy on a weird journey through a post-apocalyptic world with a dystopian society where the remainders of the human race use mind control technology to harness the power of other human beings.
Combining platforming and physics to create logical and entertaining puzzles, Inside is not really a difficult adventure game, but it’s one that uses all the elements in its favor. The puzzles resemble those of Limbo, the hardest requiring some logic and precise movement to get past. The visual design sets the dark atmosphere of the game with mat textures and faceless characters fitting for a post-apocalyptic world. But the greatest beauty of Inside is coming from the many possible interpretations for its twisted narrative which has stirred the community into producing countless plausible theories that we won’t know for sure if are true or not.
Playdead has done it again and after Limbo, Inside is another masterful work of visual narrative, artistic design and engaging gameplay that keeps the adventure genre with a foot in both worlds.