Venture into a strange world filled with strange characters.
When Merge Games announced a retail Collector’s Edition of the well known Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine, they also announced a retail Collector’s Edition of another previously digital only title. The Inner World, by Headup Games, may not be quite so well known as Monaco, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this beautiful 2D adventure should be overlooked as you meander through your local game store. With The Inner World Collector’s Edition in hand, we decided to take a look for ourselves -
Point and click adventure games are undeniably making a comeback in recent years, after a rather sudden fall from popularity. I couldn’t tell you the reason why, but Headup Games have added their 2D adventure to the pack, offering a rather strange setting for a comical journey into heroics for a very unlikely hero.
Adventure games rely almost solely on their story when it comes to success or failure. Sure, other things can go wrong, such as a messed up inventory system or really dodgy voice acting, but if the story is engaging, most other problems can be overlooked. The Inner World starts with hopeful optimism before sliding down a slippery slope into familiarity.
The Inner World is set within the land of Asposia, a hollow space surrounded by earth. This in itself is an interesting idea. The air for this world is provided by three wind fountains. However, two of the fountains have failed, with the third and final working fountain being watched over by Abbott Conroy and his naive assistant Robert.
It is the charmingly simple Robert who is set to become the hero of the story and is thrown into a situation much bigger than him. After a pigeon steals the Abbott’s most prized possession, Robert gives chase, leading him to leave the safety of the castle for the first time and experience the outside world.
During his strange little journey, Robert will come across a varied cast of different characters and some surprisingly grown up ideas for a game with such cute visuals. The story told in The Inner World is both comical and thought provoking at points, but most of all is entertaining. It may flounder slightly at times into the realm of familiarity, but the lovely characters and humour manage to carry it along to its conclusion.
So, the story is pretty good. Thankfully, everything else in the game is pretty much spot on aswell. The visual style of The Inner World is charming, with some beautifully hand drawn back drops, which contrast well with the simplistically depicted characters. The sound is also very good, with some lovely voice acting. This is another area where adventure games can sometimes fail, as they are localised and lose their humour through translation. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen here.
As for how the game plays, you can expect some truly old school puzzles that will involve simply trying everything until the solution clicks. The complexity, and randomness, is set quite high, but is backed up by an enjoyable hint system that will guide you subtly towards the solution before finally giving up and handing it to you directly. The excellent hint system does mean that players of all skill levels can play the game without being made to feel that they are stupid or cheating. Otherwise, there will be a lot of conversations to be had with the different characters that Robert comes across through the game to move the story along.
So far, everything has been pretty good, but now comes the real issue – The Collector’s Edition. The Inner World Collector’s Edition is being sold on the Merge Games own store for £24.99. With it, the buyer will get the game, an art card and sticker, the soundtrack, a digital encyclopedia and a digital crochet pattern of Peck the pigeon. The problem comes when the game itself is available on Steam for £11.99. While the extras are all very nice, are they really worth more than doubling the price? Personally, I don’t think so. But make your own mind up on that…
It can be quite difficult to review an adventure game as so much relies on the story, which we wouldn’t want to spoil for the player. Whilst the story in The Inner World is only above average, but never drops anywhere near bad, everything else in the game works exactly as it should, with no complaints. So, if you are a fan of point and click adventures, The Inner World is definitely worth checking out. The Collector’s Edition, however, seems overpriced and maybe will only be of real interest to the biggest fans of the genre. The score below is for the game, not the value of the Collector’s Edition itself.