Indie Game: Inside (by Playdead) [★]

January 31, 2017

In light of the success of Limbo, Indie Company Playdead released another fantastic game entitled Inside.

Although Inside is declared as a sequel of Limbo, the game offers a totally different experience. Believe me - if you think you'd seen them all, you are wrong.

I really looked foward playing this game. As a reward for an accomplishment that I did recently, I purchased Inside (on a discounted price!) through the Humble Bundle site. I really enjoyed playing Limbo so I really had high expectations for this one. I am proud to say I was not at all disappointed I indulged myself into this game.

Unlike Limbo, I played Inside on PC with (somewhat) colored graphics with full-on sounds on my headphones. The game still has the creepy sound effects, which perfectly adds to the game experience. I am not much into creepy stuff, but this game perfectly captured the type that I can handle - mysterious and eerie, minus the jump scares.

Spoilers below! You've been warned.

Inside starts with this familiar scenario - a boy appears in the midst of a forest, walking wanderlessly across different terrains, with an unknown mission. It still has the same gameplay elements - the character can make use of things available in the environment - ropes, boxes, ladders, even chicks. Atmosphere is creepier. In the early parts, you'd think the boy is a runaway and the people that sees and catches him are like the police in that world. I think Inside is less violent than Limbo because there are only a few instances in the game wherein the boy's death is gruesome.

As we get deeper through the game, we see other people walking past, but they didn't look and move normal. And that's where all the questions come from - what kind of world is this? What happened to those people? Why are they moving like zombies? Why are the "normal" people trying to capture the boy? Then we discover later in the game that there are mind controlling devices in this universe. That's one of the major clues on what really is up in this world. But what is the boy doing? What is his goal? There are lots of questions that came up even after the game has been finished.

the long-haired child: the enemy I hated the most in the game

As usual, the game had minimalist graphics but very realistic character motions. I really liked the way the boy swam and dove in the water. Unfortunately, that wonder has a corresponding horror effect. There's this enemy in the game - a long-haired child (sometimes referred to as the mermaid) who swims very fast in the water aimed to attack the boy and drown him to death. I super hated it whenever he chases our protagonist boy. It looked so realistic, and I really hate the feeling of being chased after. I always got stressed whenever this mermaid appeared in the game.

Because some of the puzzles in the game were too difficult for me, I had to consult walkthroughs online (I only did this twice though!). Later I realized doing that takes away the fun and that the gameplay is way better if I get to solve the puzzles myself. Sharp observation (for useful objects in the vicinity) and resourcefulness is the key. I realized I really enjoyed solving them. It's part of the experience!

I am really happy I got to experience a game like this. I saw on Playdead's Instagram account that the team is working on another adventure. I'm looking forward to another eerie but fun experience, Playdead! :D

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