While looking at the cover of The Inner World I thought two things: Can a point and click adventure game really keep me entertained? And, why on Earth is it rated 12+? I soon found out the answers to both those questions.
The Inner World is a point and click game, and although the sounds of that alone may turn some people away, it is generally a unique and most of the time, enjoyable experience. As one of Studio Fizbin’s first endeavours into the gaming world, they may still have to gain experience on their journey through the industry, but what they have created is definitely an interesting world to explore and immerse you into.
As you start up the game, you’re given a small insight to the world of Asposia, a strange vicinity which relies on three wind fountains to sustain life. Once the game begins, you are given control of a seemingly simple minded Asposian, whose main occupation is playing music for the ruler from his nose; this opening scenario really sets the tone for the rest of the unique game, showing that this isn’t going to be an ordinary adventure.
You must then travel through Asposia solving puzzles, uncovering mysteries and helping the community in a number of different ways, from giving an imprisoned tailor knitting equipment, to stopping giant Bassylians destroying the precious wind tunnels.
Although, the game for me wasn’t the story, as that was fairly generic, compared to the hand-drawn art which made up what you saw and interacted with on screen. From what the box said, everything in the game was drawn, this means the backdrops, characters, items, textures and everything else was made by an artist’s hand, this method may seem pointless to some technologically reliant minds, but it really made the game for me, to know someone drew all the assets I’m now exploring. The bar I looked in, the child I spoke to, the confessions stand I just blew up, all created by someone’s hand.
As well as the environment, another feature that was really elaborate within the game was the sheer amount of items and things you could click on and interact with, this may come across as expected in a point and click adventure, but some games in the genre allow only for interaction with the item required to progress through the story, The Inner World chose a different approach, one that lets players interact with lots of different assets and whether or not they’re required to progress is to be figured out by the user, when they think “What alternative currency could be used to place in this candy machine?” or “How can I lure this reluctant pigeon down to the street?”
Adding to the uniqueness of The Inner World was the general maturity shown in-game, not so much by the protagonist, but more so by the characters and items he interacts with. For example, he handles alcohol and sexual innuendos at an early stage of the game, which is an extremely different take on point and click adventures, however it doesn’t seem out of place, as the character spends a lot of his timein what seems like the underworld of Asposia, full of shady criminals and figures who aren’t how they’re perceived in public.
The mature edge The Inner World has is not only well-placed but also appreciated, as instead of the usual childish styles or pop-culture based point and clicks like Back To The Future and Wallace and Gromit, it’s replaced with a dark and gritty tale of a boy who is lost in the city he felt he knew best, due to him being sheltered in luxury most his life. A great example would be, instead of having the comic book-like, goofy Batman and Robin, we’re given a darker and shadier The Dark Knight Rises, both are good in their own way, but now we can decide for ourselves which we prefer in the roles of which genre.
In conclusion, The Inner World is heavily dependent on the users preferred genre, by this I mean, instead of Studio Fitzbin going for a regular old shooter, or platformer that a wide demographic can enjoy, they chose to do something we haven’t exactly seen a lot of recently, both a point and click adventure and a dark toned story, mixed into one.
Although I wish I could recommend The Inner World to everyone who enjoys a grittier style of story and gameplay, it is still solely aimed at a younger audience, even with its undertones of maturity and is still a point and click styled game, which as I mentioned earlier on, can repulse people by the mere sound.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of point and click games either, yet I found when I was in the right mood and frame of mind, jumping into the world of Asposia was a great change of pace from the explosion filled, zombie infested titles out on shelves now. Perhaps this new release will go unheard due to its shell, but it is an enjoyably fun way of burning a few hours even if you aren’t a huge point and clicker, and if you are, then you really have no reason not to have a go.