Gametime: How deep can you go?

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INSIDE catches your attention with its impeccable soundscape. It really is a game you hear and feel before you actually pay attention to the graphics. Developed by Playdead, makers of the critically acclaimed indie puzzle platformer LIMBO, INSIDE is a 2.5D puzzle platformer where players control a young boy who explores through a bleak and surreal landscape.

 

Monotonous but not boring

Monotonous graphics with splashes of colour set the palette for the surreal landscape that the young boy travels through. The unsettling atmosphere lets you know something isn’t right and as you delve further in, you’re not sure if you’re running away from the horrors or finding the source of it all.

The animations within the game are great as you stumble over branches in your path, put your weight behind levers and push and pull objects. The animations transition so smoothly that you’ll find yourself hitting the keys a bit harder in hopes of making the boy sprint away from the terrors quicker, and finding out that it does actually make a difference.

 

Sounds Mysterious

The sound of the game really makes the game stand out on its own. A lot of care was put into sound design as every footstep in each location sounds like it was meant to be there. Just the echo of footsteps as the boy explores through a dark forest in the rain gives the game heaps of atmosphere.

You’ll learn to recognise the tell-tale sounds of danger approaching as you progress through the game and that’s when the game’s diverse sound design becomes apparent. The music in the game is minimal and dark, as per the theme of the game, and it adds a good layer of suspense and mystery to the game.

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Problem Solving Skills Needed

The puzzles of the game start off simple as they introduce the player to the base mechanics of the game. The boy can push and pull certain objects within the environment and early on in the game, discover devices which allow him to control other characters in the world.

Solving puzzles in the game is very rewarding considering that failing usually results in the young boy’s very violent death. Playdead didn’t pull any punches with the deaths in LIMBO and with INSIDE, the deaths can be unnerving especially when you fail a puzzle repeatedly. You have to walk to this tightrope of reward and punishment, liking it is optional sometimes. It really is an exercise in tension.

INSIDE might only last a few hours but the experience as a whole was nothing short of tense and unsettling but greatly satisfying. A fast-paced and unpredictable rollercoaster ride, I really wish I could reveal more about INSIDE but it really is one of those games you go into blind. Trust me, you’ll like what you find inside.

Developer: Playdead

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Mode: Single-player video game

Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows

Genres: Platform game, Adventure game

 

Score: 9/10

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