Game Reviews

‘The Inner World’ Review: Wonderfully Weird

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Quick Take: The Inner World is right up there with some of my favorite point-and-click adventure games.

The Inner World is part of a recent trend to convert indie mobile games to indie console games. Developed by German game makers, Studio Fizbin, and originally released in 2013 for Android and iOS, The Inner World was impressive enough to make the transition to PC, Xbox One, and now Playstation 4. Harken to the times of point-and-click adventures, players follow the adventure of young Robert, an Asposian, as he learns his whole life is a lie and must save his world, the Inner World.

The Inner World is set in Asposia, a city/country located inside a planet, surrounded entirely by dirt. There the Asposians worship the wind. The wind gives all: light and energy. One day, the wind stops. The wind god Basylian, who looks like a chinese dragon, erupts from the wind supplying hole and lays waste to the land, turnning many Asposians into stone. From that day forth the Wind Monk, Abbot Conroy, rules the land, preaching all Asposians must worship him as he is their only hope to keep what little wind they have left.

Players join the game years after these events, and meet Robert. Robert is a boy of 13 with an odd flute for a nose. Like Rudolph, he hides his nose behind a cover, so as to appear the same as the other Asposians. Robert has lived his whole sheltered life with Abbot Conroy, who adopted him after the death of his parents. One day, while cleaning, Robert meets a funny little pigeon, who steals Conroy’s magical pendant. He races down a trash shoot after it, and while his quest starts out to find and return the pendant, players soon learn there is much more going on, and naive little Robert is the key.

I won’t go into the story too much as I don’t want to spoil anything. The Inner World has interestingly hand-drawn graphics. All of the backgrounds, characters, and animation are all done in this manner. The cartoony, but still depressing, landscape of Asposia is brilliantly designed. Each screen has all kinds of fun easter eggs for players to discover. I enjoyed just running out all dialog available with every NPC. The characters throughout The Inner World are all interesting and quirky, and the voice acting was surprisingly well done for such a small indie title.

Players progress the game by talking with everyone they can and trying different item combinations or actions to solve the current obstacle, and then they move to the next scene. You can move around the scenes or choose to flip through selectable objects and NPC with the L1 and R1 buttons, then inspecting, conversing, or attempting to “use” them with or without objects in your inventory. Many of the best conversations in The Inner World were found just by continually bugging the various characters. Embrace Robert’s irritating naivety and enjoy the frustration of the people he meets. It’s part of the charm.

The Inner World is very well written and was constantly surprising me. At about six to seven hours, it is just long enough without getting stale, and leaves the door open for a sequel.  The little developer, Studio Fizbin, did a fantastic job for such a small team. The Inner World is right up there with some of my favorite point-and-click adventure games. The genre seems to be seeing a resurgence on consoles and I welcome it. At an MSRP of $14.99, If you are a fan of these kind of games, or just enjoy odd games in general, you should enjoy The Inner World.

The Inner World is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, iOS, and Android. This review is based on a PS4 code provided by the publisher.

 

SCORE: 4.0 out of 5

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