Screenshot of Inside Robot

Inside is a puzzle platform adventure video game published and developed by Playdead. This is the same company that released Limbo back in 2010 and the two games bear many similarities. The protagonist of the video game is a young boy trying to find his way out of a dark and eerie environment. The game can be played on Microsoft Windows and Xbox One and features detailed animations and fancy graphics.

Key facts about Inside

  • Inside is the best 2D puzzle platformer since Limbo and a worthy successor of the game developed by Playdead in 2010.
  • The videogame has amazing visuals and creates a fantastic atmosphere through the use of a contrasting color palette.
  • Inside has a fascinating story, with players being told very little about the plot, so they can discover it by themselves.
  • Intelligent puzzles are at the cornerstone of this 2D platformer and they don’t feel repetitive.
  • Inside makes good use of camera work and an unsettling soundtrack to get players engrossed in the narrative.

The Inside games

Inside has a cryptic narrative and intentionally discloses very little information about what players are supposed to do. As players explore the environment, they need to complete various puzzles to advance to the next stage. Most of them take place in a mysterious facility that the young boy explores while trying to avoid detection. Players discover at their own pace who are those who try to stop him in his tracks, as well as the motives that drive him forward.

Inside games unfold and a rather slow pace, but the puzzles serve a more subtle way of driving the storytelling. Those who replayed the game will find pleasure in solving the same results again, while taking the time to understand the context. These puzzles are not overly complicated, but the mechanics keeps surprising players even as the end draws near. The unique 2D platformer design took the most popular concepts of Limbo and tweaked them while making use of the advancements of technology.

What is Inside

Inside is a 2D puzzle-platformer which invites players to get fully immersed into a fantastic universe. The game feels like a cinematic experience, with developers paying a lot of attention to details. Playdead have improved and added some of the core game mechanics of Limbo, their first major success. The game is compatible with Xbox One and Microsoft Windows systems and was released in June 2016.

Gameplay of Inside

The gameplay of Inside is not restrictive in any way by the fact that it belongs to the 2D puzzle-platformer genre. Players control a young boy that moves through an eerie environment and has to solve puzzles to go further. He starts with a limited set of abilities and unlocks new skills as the single player campaign unfolds. Initially, he can only walk, run, climb and swim but later on he becomes capable of controlling objects as well.

Screenshot of Inside Projector
Screenshot of Inside Projector

Without being overly difficult, the puzzles require players to think them through and act quickly. Some of these quests must be solved in a short period of time and if players fail, the character dies. Just like in Limbo, the major hit developed by Playdead, players are returned to the last checkpoint. The puzzles tend to raise the difficulty level of late missions, but this is offset by the young boy’s new abilities.

Plot of Inside

Inside tells the story of a young boy that finds himself alone in a forest wearing a red shirt. Players need to guide him out of this maze and escape the dogs and masked figures chasing him. His voyage takes him to remote places and eerie cities were an unknown force is mind-controlling people. The protagonist learns more about the experiments performed by scientists on bodies and tries to avoid being captured.

As the story progresses, the character becomes capable of using mind control devices to solve various puzzles. His newfound skills include the ability of controlling grey bodies and later on to breathe underwater. Most of the plot of Inside takes place in the grey facility where scientists conduct their experiments. Eventually he becomes aware of a large spherical object with hands, legs and arms connected to 4 rods. When the boy tries to disconnect them, he is grabbed by the gruesome creature.

Screenshot of Inside Roadblock
Screenshot of Inside Roadblock

It manages to escape and goes berserk through the offices, laying destruction in its path. Despite their best efforts, scientists are initially unable to contain this creature. In the end, they manage to lure it into a trap and for a brief period of time, they catch it inside another tank. Inside has a happy ending, at least for the creature, but players can unlock a secret ending if they collect all achievements during the game.

Development of Inside

Inside was announced several years after the successful release of indie game Limbo. The Danish Film Institute helped the developers with money, which helped them meet the deadline for the scheduled release. Instead of using a game engine built in-house as they did for Limbo, they chose to rely on Unity. The game engine works beautifully and developers only have to concern themselves with the creation of an original soundtrack.

Martin Stig Andersen was the one who came up with the original idea of routing the sound generated by a synthesizer through a human skull. The eerie sound design of Inside is a result of this amazing collection of sounds, that capture the imagination of players. The fact that sometimes the music and the visuals were in stark contrast didn’t have a deterring effect on developers. Overall, the sound and visuals went hand in to create the amazing atmosphere that Limbo fans were hoping for.

Where can I download Inside?

Inside can be downloaded from the Playdead website, as they were the ones that developed and published the game. This is also a great opportunity for those who haven’t played Limbo yet to acquire the game that made the company famous. The game can also be downloaded via Steam where it is currently the best selling title. The list also includes Counter Strike Global Offensive, No Man’s Sky, Grand Theft Auto V, Total War Warhammer, Hearts of Iron 4, Fallout 4 and its Fallout 4 Far Harbor DLC.

Screenshot of Inside Warehouse
Screenshot of Inside Warehouse

What are others saying about Inside?

The players and critics alike had high expectations from Inside, given the success of Limbo. Despite the fact that the developers chose to use another game engine, the reviews were overwhelmingly positive. Many consider it to be a better game than the one developed by Playdead 6 years ago. With an average review score of 95 out of 100, it is one of the best rated games of 2016. The players were impressed by the complexity of the puzzles as well as the amazing atmosphere. The intelligent use of visuals and unsettling sound effects ensured its popularity with both newcomers and Limbo fans.

Inside tournaments

This is a dark and immersive gaming experience that is supposed to be enjoyed alone. Platformer games are by definition incompatible with multiplayer, which explains the possibility for Inside tournaments. Players who download the game from Steam can find plenty of titles there that have a vibrant multiplayer mode. Counter Strike Global Offensive sits at the top of the list, followed closely by Dota 2, Street Fighter 5, Counter Strike Source and the classic Counter Strike.

My rating of Inside

I didn’t expect a platformer game to impress me as much as Limbo did, but here I am. Inside is every bit as good as its predecessor and it conveys a powerful message in a very original way. It only has a single player campaign and a pretty short one by modern video game standards. Even so, it has amazing replayability and I felt the need to restart the game as soon as I reached its conclusion.

There are few better ways to spend some quality time at home playing a game then by playing Inside. It is definitely worth the price tag and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to take a break from the daily routine of modern video games. Personally I consider it to be every bit as good as Limbo, which warrants a review score of 9.5 out of 10.

Overall Score