Inside is a masterpiece from start to finish. Bizarrely, you have to finish it in order to fully appreciate it, but at a running time of around five hours, that’s not too hard. When a game takes you on an emotional roller coaster without ushering a single word, you know it is something special
Inside does not hold your hand, give you a back story or even justify your existence. From the first second your slide down a forest embankment to the final scene, you are given no explanation as to who you are, what you are doing or even what button to press to produce and action. You are on your own and it’s nothing short of fabulous.
The protagonist is a young boy running towards something in this 2D puzzle adventure. It’s dark and muted colour palette is simply stunning and acts as the perfect backdrop for a mystery adventure that will touch on nostalgia, please you with clever puzzle elements and scare the sweet bejesus out of you.
The controls are simple enough with one button for jump and another for action and the control stick can be used to not only move but manipulate the actions from lifting doors to revolving a crank handle.
The sounds and graphics are harrowingly beautiful and manage to convey both claustrophobic interiors and expansive caverns. The enemies are all clearly stronger and faster than you forcing you to be smarter to complete your task.
Overall, I found Inside from Playdead, a highly polished and lovingly crafted homage to the retro games like ‘Another World‘ and ‘Flashback’, whilst absorbing modern day gaming traits and sensibilities. The game takes you on an emotional journey that makes playing it a wonderful experience on par with a beautiful movie. If you are looking for a game that reaffirms video games as an art form, then this is the title that will help you make that argument.
Play this game and let me know what you think as I would love to share my theories…