Doing the Impossible.
In a previous review of an adventure game, I admitted to being quite the novice of the genre and was unsure whether the problems I had with it was the game’s fault or mine. With the release of another adventure game, The Inner World, things are becoming more clear, and I just might be warming up to them.
The Inner World takes place in a universe far, far away, on a hollow planet called Asposia. Its inhabitants, asposians, live on the inside of this sphere, and all of their machinery runs on wind. But, the wind has mysteriously vanished and beasts are going around turning asposians into stone. The ruler of the land, the Abbot Conroy, is the parental guardian of the game’s protagonist, a young man named Robert. The story begins with Robert accidentally falling through a garbage chute and seeing – for the first time – what the world outside the castle walls looks like.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d pay: $14.99
In standard adventure game style, there are characters to talk to and items to use/combine. The game does a good job at showing points of interest; just a press of a button and everything ‘interactable’ will have a dot on top of it. If you get stuck, there is a hint system that will start out vague and the more you use it the more specific it gets. This was useful, to say the least, and it’s entirely up to the player whether they want to look at those or not.
The world of Asposia is whimsical and alien – almost Dr. Seuss-ian – but has some darker tones added to the mix. Asposia is in complete disarray; people are being turned to stone, some are dying in the process, and many people seem to be literally slumming it in its current state.
Robert’s naiveté early on is both entertaining and a good way for the player to learn about the world, one which Robert has little context of. His character arch is simply the hero’s journey, but it’s still satisfying to see Robert turn into someone who is very different compared to who he is at the outset.
One consistent problem I had with the Inner World involved its interface, more specifically switching between points of interest. It’s hard to describe succinctly but it caused a lot of fumbling. If points of interest could be switched to going from left to right, instead of just being random, I wouldn’t have had so much trouble. Also, the middle chapter lulls with an annoying character, some tedious puzzles and the plot doesn’t move much – at least in a compelling way. The voice acting, which there is a lot of, is stellar across the board and locations are detailed and imaginative.
The Inner World is a solid adventure game that’s whimsical yet dark, and accessible to those who may not have much experience with adventure games. I think I’ll be playing through this again, somewhere down the line. For an adventure game, that’s high praise from me.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.