Flight: One of mankind’s greatest modern achievements. If birds could do it, we were bound to follow suit. The idea of free falling and flight is both exhilarating, relaxing, and scary all at once. Games allow us to experience this without the dangers of attempting it in real life. Inner Space is all about flight, while guised with a storied premise of discovery and exploration in hopes of preserving history. While easy on the eyes, and relaxing at times, it leaves a gap in terms of delivery that leaves much to be desired. Some clunky controls and misguided direction hold back this otherwise interesting, peaceful, and aesthetically pleasing title.
You are but a tool in the process of preservation. As a construct created by a person known as the Archaeologist, it is your job to fly around an ancient space known as the Inverse. This realm is on its last leg, and as a notable place of legend which was once home to gods and their civilizations, its rich history is now on the brink of disappearing. Exploring this hub will help you find once lost artifacts that give way to revelations, as well as finding some of the old gods that still helplessly wander their homes. You can make a difference, whether or not it’s your choice to do so. Your being was created for a purpose, and you have no choice but to fulfill.
InnerSpace’s concept is simple. Explore, collect, and move on. Each hub area has both artifacts and “wind” to collect. Wind is the form of energy used in the world, which helps you progress, enabling you to interact with certain artifacts or “sidekicks”. There are no enemies in the game, which allows you to freely explore without stress, which I sadly still encountered. The controls were confusing at first, but easy to pick up later on. This wasn’t the cause of my stress, but rather the structure of both the worlds and the progression that stressed me out. At first I was excited to find out what InnerWorld had to offer, but the more I played, the less I wanted to press on. For one, tight spaces are awful to navigate. Smashing into a wall in a small corridor will send you ricocheting off every adjacent wall, which shakes the screen to ad nauseam. If that was not enough to push me away, there is no sense of guidance in this game. Understandably, the game elicits the need to explore, but there’s often these quiet moments where you may not be sure where to go, and the architect is not much help. It makes the game suddenly slow down to a murmur, quickly becoming dull and pointless. I liked the exploration at times, but when you are completely clueless about where to go or what to do, it feels like a waste of your time. Bouncing around tight corners and hoping you find what you need becomes very boring. The world is also very spherical, which makes defining up or down incredibly hard, which makes it easy to lose track of where you have been.
In addition to exploring the sky, you can also go underwater, which changes the dynamic a bit. The exploration down there is similar, but a bit slower and more controlled. It adds to the world’s variety, giving way to more depths to explore. Take in the sights while you are looking, as it is one of the stand outs. The game is mostly polished, and its colors pop wonderfully. The music is calming and imaginative too, but again, in those quiet moments these tracks can become repetitive and remind the player that they are stuck without a purpose. Regardless of that though, it is an otherwise relaxing experience.
I wish Inner Space had been reigned in a bit more as a whole. I would have liked a little bit more guidance, with exploration being an optional must-do type of deal. Games like Journey and Abzu master this, pushing you forward while never holding you back, both too with great environments and soundtracks. But sadly InnerSpace leaves much to be desired. This solid title is held back an absent minded presence, one that leaves you feeling like a lost drift away instead of history’s last hope.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 6/10
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