The Inner World starts off by explaining how the world in this game, Asposia, works. Instead of everyone walking on the planet, they live on the inside, relying on wind coming from the outside which helps provide the energy the world needs in order to function, and that’s where the plot kicks in. Wind has stopped coming from the outside world for some unknown reason, with only one of them working under the leadership of Conroy.
The protagonist, Robert, a naive and clueless person who has been shielded from the outside world, has been under the care of the leader Conroy. After a slight mishap where a pigeon steals Conroy’s shiny pendant, Robert chases after the pigeon which causes him to see how screwed up the rest the world is and also how much terrible a person Conroy actually is.
The beginning was actually the highlight for me. Once it was established on how the world works and what the rest of the game was going to be like, it felt like I was about to go on a really unique experience with the interesting world presented. There were a lot of creatively designed characters with funny things to say and quite a few odd and hilarious scenarios. I don’t want to spoil the jokes that happen, but it should suffice to say that, as much as it looks like one, this isn’t a game for kids. Sure, a kid could play through this game and even enjoy it, but I can only imagine the awkward explanation given by a parent with a lot of passing jokes that results in the kid asking “Ummm, what was that?” Seeing Robert’s reactions to these scenarios is also quite chuckle-worthy as well.
The Basic Story
After the excellent first part of The Inner World, things start to go a bit downhill when it starts establishing characters and the plot starts progressing as we learn more from Robert’s troubled history. Not to say that nothing fun happens through the rest of the game as there are some funny parts involving sexual tension from a hideously green creature and another character with a split personality that involves some funny, yet scary moments that might even be a bit unsettling for people.
The problem comes from the main story itself and just how standard and predictable it is. While I’ve seen a lot of games with a formulaic story, like Deponia or almost any major Nintendo release, they use it as a tool to capitalize on their strengths and to explore new concepts. The Inner World doesn’t seem that interested in doing anything else rather than just provide a serviceable story with some mildly entertaining puzzles.
There are times when it seems like the game is about to take off into something that could be intriguing like how Robert starts off as naïve and innocent only to realize that not everybody has the best intentions, Robert starts partaking in questionable actions on his own that could cause for some insightful commentary, but the story is just interested in having all the characters go through their arc so everyone can have their happy ending.
The Lively World
The game certainly looks incredibly nice. The Inner World likes to brag on how the graphics in the game are hand drawn, and the hard work really shows. The game runs very smoothly with all of the characters jumping to life with how expressive and animated they are. Also, the fact that the setting takes place in the unique world of Asposia, where even the people in this world are a creatively designed, abstract species, just exploring this world would make it worth a recommendation to some people.
The point and click aspect of the game will take up most of your time where you’ll be solving puzzles by trying to combine items in, hopefully, the correct mixture in order to progress. This game is probably one of the easier games I’ve had to get through, though, I’ll admit, thanks to the helpful hint system, I would at least get a good idea on what I should be doing next.
The game does present some weird problems, though, with how the game controls. It’s how you manage your items and actions as you have to click on something for a list of commands to pop up that you click on to specify what you want to do to what you have clicked on. Most games usually have a default action whenever you click on a certain object, and, if you wanted to do anything else to it, you would right click to bring up the other actions. This is only a minor set back, as this is a game is more deliberately paced and more about thinking then quick reflexes, a game like this is able to get away with having to make the player do an extra step.
The Inner World really isn’t a bad game at all. With a nice presentation and even a funny sense of humor, there’s a lot to like. Unfortunately, with its predictable story, it also makes the game a bit too insubstantial than it should be, because it’s clear that a lot of work was put into creating this unique and quirky little world. Still, the game is funny enough and the animation is quite wonderful that it is worth a second look for anyone who’s interested in buying this game.