The Inner World is a point and click adventure title developed by Studio Fizbin and published by Headup Games. You fill the role of Robert, an apprentice to the final active Wind Monk in all of Asposia, Conrad. The story begins as the happy people of Asposia are attacked by the Basylians, mighty wind gods that bring terror across the land and shut down two of the three wind fountains. Abbot Conroy takes strive to uphold the final wind fountain and preaches to the people to be obedient and please the wind gods to bring back the wind in the other fountains. After his speeches, Conroy goes inside of his palace and asks Robert to play him a song and polish his prized pendant…this is where your role as Robert begins. While polishing the pendant, a bird flies into the room and steals the pendant right out of Robert’s hands. This sends Robert on a wild adventure trying to locate Conroy’s pendant and finding out who he actually is.
Robert is a dull, naive Asposian that was raised by Abbot Conroy. He expresses throughout his thoughts that he has never been out of the palace or had various life experiences you would expect of a young adult. All he really knows is the ideology that Conroy has beaten into his brain and that he is different from every other Asposian. He has holes throughout his nose similar to a flute and on occasion, Conroy has him play music with it.
This title is extremely story driven and a majority of the game is spent interacting with other Asposians to unravel the tale of terror-stricken Asposia. Robert’s lack of experience mixed with his dull mindset leads to interesting interactions throughout the game. There are various moments where he gets himself into something way over his head just because he doesn’t understand the task in front of him. The story of The Inner World is extremely enjoyable and the dialogue interactions are second-to-none.
The mechanics are rather simplistic as are with other titles in this genre. The player must navigate around the screen interacting with other objects and individuals to solve various puzzles. The game controlled smoothly and moving around the environment gave no issues. The character’s inventory was well displayed at the bottom of the screen and all items within were easily denoted along with the interaction buttons used to inspect, combine, or use any of the items. The only issues that I found with the mechanics of this title were the way the cursor moved about the screen to select an object. On the Xbox One, you press the ‘X’ button to bring up all available interactions in your area, but to cycle through the ones in your vicinity you must press the ‘X’ button until you reach the desirable option. This isn’t a huge deal, but it felt clunky from time to time and I felt there could have been a better way to implement it on a console.
The visual stylizations of this title are similar to a hand-drawn cartoon. The characters have rigid features similar to sketches, but are polished enough to look phenomenal when in action. The animations are so seamless while still providing the crisp feeling of artistic drawings. The soundtrack of this game provides a vibe that even surpasses the beauty of the visuals. The Inner World has various moments where an undertone of background music plays while you are solving a puzzle. These moments are incredible and the music just adds to the amazing experience. However, they are nothing compared to the musical numbers that play at pinnacle parts of the story. I’m talking about full-blown orchestral pieces sending chills down your back when you get bombarded with the soothing melody. Everyone that worked on this game did a phenomenal job, but the team behind the music deserve the highest praise for their excellent work.
There is no doubt that my experience with this game was amazing. The game was just so breathtakingly beautiful in design. The puzzles were complex enough to test your brain power but easy and user-friendly enough to keep the gameplay from coming to a halt. This game far surpassed my expectations going in and I love that I was able to have the opportunity to review this title
In the end, The Inner World will cost you $15 USD and I feel that it is worth every penny. I know this title is just a PC port, but the developers did such a good job at bringing to the console. It is not too often that a game of this caliber gets released. So, take it from me, do not miss out on this game. Do yourself a favor and pick this title up.
Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 10/10
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