Published on August 23rd, 2014 | by Aliya Tyus-Barnwell2
The Inner World Review
The Inner World is a hand drawn point-and-click indie adventure game developed by Studio Fizbin. It is a weird piece of videogame art. It’s neat, except when it’s messy; its sense of humor is as strange as its graphics are beautiful.
Via a neat intro with British voiceover, The Inner World brings players into the microscopic world of Asposia and introduces us to the dramatis personae of this little play; Robert, the main character, his snarky love interest Laura, and Conroy, who is both cruel villain and father figure. Most of your point and click adventure will be spent controlling the clueless but cute Robert. His quests will take him into the heart of Asposia to solve its problems.
The Inner World offers players a vivid plot-point cut scenes where the hand-drawn graphics really shine. The gameplay consists of item and conversation management helped along by the well-designed hint system. Tapping an object opens the options to examine or pick it up. Combining objects is as important a part of the adventure as talking to the odd denizens of Asposia. If the solutions seem obscure, the hints are comprehensive and clear, but are delivered incrementally to keep from spoiling the fun if players just need a little push in the right direction. This is all rote for an adventure game and The Inner World handles what could easily become a boring system admirably to set up some truly clever puzzles. Studio Fizbin put a quirky and cool 2D art style over this solid backbone of easy to understand adventure system. The result is an intriguing and fun game that really feels and plays like a complete journey. Asposia looks like a tiny cell in the opening and has only a few levels, but the place felt huge, with endless corners to search and puzzles to solve.
The fantastic voice-over work is yet another selling point of The Inner World. Accents and oddity abounds, from the Garbage Seller that sounds like Antonio Banderas’ grandfather to the deadly Gork that enjoys conversation since it is too poisonous to touch anyone or anything. It has an odd sense of humor reminiscent of early Jim Henson’s Storyteller episodes, with similar dark themes under a layer of innocent icing via Robert’s kind naiveté. Throughout my vacation Asposia entertained with odd environments and characters. Dialogue is invariably hilarious; be prepared to chat up a variety of idiots and oddities. The only possible shortcoming of this game is that it is, well, short. Using the hints a player could tear through the whole game in less than four hours. Hopefully, Studio Fizbin will release some expansions or sequels that open new areas of Asposia and introduce other weird inhabitants. In lieu of further quests, I’ll settle for the deceptively simple Flutenose mini-game for now, which is yet another plus for the overall experience. Accessible outside of the main game, Flutenose plays like Rockband, but in the weird Inner World style.
There is leaderboard and trophy support to provide a record of players scores against others, via Google in the case of Android devices. As far as other devices go, The Inner World is available for PC and Mac as well, but at $4.99 for mobile devices it is a great deal . Five bucks is fair for a portable PC quality game, especially with no threat of in-app purchases to hint at an incomplete experience, rush the adventure or nag for real world money and ruin the fun. Studio Fizbin should be proud. With uniquely beautiful graphics over a streamlined point-and-click adventure and stellar voice acting punctuating it all, The Inner World is a game I highly recommend.[video id = “LIK-XU8uMgY” site = “youtube”][/video]
Summary: Smartly strange art and silly dialogue with puzzles to match.