09 July 2016

Inside (game) (no spoilers)

A friend of mine emailed me about this game, noting that she'd seen reviews that said "buy and play and don’t look at reviews first so you get the full wonder of it" - and so I did.

The game starts with a boy, in a forest, who starts to run right...and that's about all I'm planning to tell you about the details of the game.  It really is a game that will reward discovering what happens by yourself.

"Creepy mindfuck" is the most common description I've been able to find for that game...and that fits well enough.  It certainly is an incredibly tense and atmospheric game, with good, mostly not-too-difficult puzzles and multiple moments of wonder, awe and horror.

I'm so-so on the ultimate ending, but this game was definitely more about the journey than the explanation.

You'll get about four hours worth of playtime out of it - and for those without the budget/inclination, this is a game which will probably be enjoyable to watch a few Let's Plays (especially a couple of the more shocking bits).

Potential spoilers in any comments, so if you haven't played don't read them just in case...


  1. 2 hours in with a scrape on my shin from when I jerked my leg against the desk during an unexpectedly scary moment

  2. Spoilers ahead...

    I loved the first three quarters of the game. Little things like the way the camera zoomed out and they dropped the volume of the background music when you enter the first big underwater cave were just fantastic at conveying a sense of space and isolation.

    (No, really, spoilers ahead...)

    I thought that the endings (especially the secret ending) undermined the first three quarters of the game. Once I understood the implications, I went from deeply invested to just not caring. I'm sure it was all very clever and artistic, but the lack of foreshadowing felt cheap. Yup, ya got me, M. Night Shyamalan, I don't know what is real anymore. But there goes all of the tension and empathy built up in the first four hours of the game.

  3. Hm - I didn't even know there was a secret ending. Let's see...

    Now I actually prefer the implications of that secret ending to the rather inexplicable main game ending, which was really kind of flat. I'm glad the blob who just wants it all to stop succeeded in getting it to stop.


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