Note: the following may be considered spoilers to the indie game ‘INSIDE’.
Nothing like being trapped at home with no option other than the digital world for amusement. What do you do? Go crawling through your steam library for something to serve as an appropriate distraction. Todays lucky contestant, INSIDE.
I don’t play too many video games these days. Not sure why, maybe I just grew up. The games I do play, tend to be short, clearly defined, more indie or out there. Mostly because I don’t have the time to embark on an epic like The Witcher 3, and because frankly, I’m not all that interested. Something novel, and calculated in its execution is usually whats required to get my attention.
INSIDE is a scrolling platformer, done in a very particular style. At no point is anything directly communicated to the player, whether it be via voice, or text. Instead they simply use the tone of the scene to inflict a sense of urgency, dread, and curiosity on the player. You start off, a small boy, running. Its quickly made clear that you’re running from some people. Escaping is what the game would have you think, or are you instead breaking in?
Theres something about how this game controls, which is wrong. Everything is floaty, its almost like you’re not in direct control of the character. But in this same wrong sense, its actually quite right. INSIDE is made by the same studio who made LIMBO, which had the same feel to the controls. In any other platformer this would be absolutely horrible. However these games almost require it. Having twitchy, direct control would ruin both how these games feel to play, as well as how they’d look. You want this slower, less direct control, it matches the way this game feels.
Visually, I quite like how this game looks. On regular occasions I found myself stopping, and realising how well put together the scene was. This isn’t only visually pleasing from an art point of view, but in actually playing the game, there is good visual design present. You don’t have to ask ‘whats that’ or ‘can I go there’, instead you’re just lead by your gut (and someone clearly having put thought into how these things should look).
I’ve skirted around a few themes and parts of this game, purely because I don’t think I can clearly convey what its about. Some of it would be considered a bit out there, (and also being a little similar to that one part in F.E.A.R), so for this, you’ll just have to play and find out.