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  • Writer's pictureAntal Bokor

31 Days of Horror, Day 28: Inside

I think Inside is probably one of those games that lives rent free in my head. It’s one of my favorite side-scrolling games of all time, with developer PlayDead’s Limbo occupying one of the top spots right along with it. However, Inside takes all of the lessons from Limbo and applies them to make a nearly perfect narratively driven side scrolling adventure.

Inside may have been released in 2016, but it really doesn’t feel like it has aged a day. This moody, dark, side scrolling puzzle platformer has you playing as a boy, running away from an unknown government (?) entity while having bizarre encounters that only get weirder as you go. And the thing is, despite having a clear narrative there are no words exchanged–and nothing is really ever explained. Which just adds to the mystery, and the eerieness. One of its greatest storytelling feats is being able to tell such an intriguing story without giving anything away.

As far as gameplay, Inside is extremely simple–you can jump, run, and interact with objects, often through pushing buttons or being able to push/pull objects. This is something taken from PlayDead’s earlier game Limbo, that had similarly simple controls in a world that has a lot of expression, but no clear answers.

In Inside you’ll often find yourself at a place where you have to overcome a hazard, or bypass an obstacle either through timing or by solving a puzzle. Most puzzles in Inside are solved through logical deduction. Physics in the game work as you would expect them to work in real life (mostly). There’s no real way to describe what you’ll encounter in Inside without spoilers–and it’s best to go in blind, and enjoy its atmosphere.

The atmosphere is really what makes Inside stand apart, and its soundtrack and sound design help with this immensely. The art style is also nearly impeccable, and doesn’t rely on flashy graphics to convey what it wants. Inside is more likely to age gracefully than other games.

It’s hard to discuss Inside while staying spoiler-free. It’s one of my favorite games of all time, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a horror game that is drenched in atmosphere without jump scares.



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