Inner World is of a favourite genre of mine and one that my childhood was full of, point and click adventure games. But with having played so many, how will the German based adventure compare?
Imagine a world where rather than living on a sphere, we lived in it. Earth all around the edges and air in the middle. Looking up you can see the other side of the world directly above you. This may sound like complete hokum, but for the Asposians of Inner World, this is life.
A rather haphazard pigeon is where our story kicks off.
You play as Robert, a young, very simple man orphaned when he was a baby. He was taken in by Conroy, a wind monk who looks after one of the three sacred wind fountains. The source of air in this inner world. The theft of Conroy’s favourite medallion, by a rather haphazard pigeon is where our story kicks off.
What ensues is a journey across the Inner World, exploring the different realms, and a very wide range of different characters. It’s these characters that first had me chuckling during my time with Robert. The junk seller, who sees Roberts simpleness as a skilled bartering technique, the barmaid who explains the more risqué side of life (with Robert blushing all the way through), the ever lethal Gorfs, and a thief (Laura) who outright finds Robert annoying. Laura is the other half of our heroic duo and is the street savvy heroine to the tale.
This combination of main characters allows the game to explain how this inside out world works without it feeling forced or strange that people explain everything to clearly knowledgeable protagonists. All the way through, I built such a fondness for Robert. He clearly was such a lovely person that wanted to do right by everyone without any agenda of his own (aww bless!).
The story itself is well told through the cast and events that unfold. At no point did I really feel that anything was left unexplained or left hanging. Everything followed a logical path (logical for Asposia that is). The humour that flows through the heart of the game were not only funny quips and moments, but my favourite were innuendos or jokes that Robert just didn’t understand, which only added to the hilarity. His simple minded nature keeping the punchline just out of reach.
The almost rustic feel and animation only further expanded on the charm
The artstyle of the game is hand drawn and is abundant with charm. The almost rustic feel and animation only further expanded on the charm of Asposia and it’s inhabitants. It was clear that so much time and care had been put into creating the environments and character models.
Something a lot of point and click games struggle with is the port to a controller. A mouse lends itself perfectly to these games. Most ports simply allow you to move a pointer with an analogue stick and this works ok. Unfortunately Inner World tries something different. The left analogue moves your character, and by using L1 and R1 you can scroll through the hot spots available in the portion of the screen that your character resides in. Generally this worked alright, except in busy areas where it seem to feel to take forever to finally get to the door you want to go through, despite you standing next to it. A small niggle, but a niggle nonetheless.
We all fall foul to getting stuck in point and click adventures. I’ve found in previous games that they either offer no help, the most aloof hint to a solution or outright give you the answer. In some cases only leading to frustration or boredom of being handed the key. The Inner World help system lists out the current objectives and gradually builds up the hints. These range from the smallest of nudges, to outright telling you what to do. This system lets you choose how much help you receive. At any point you can stop adding further help and see if you’ve now got enough information to crack the puzzle. Perfect balance.
The biggest frustration with Inner World (and it makes my heart sink) was performance. At points where the game jumps to a quick cut scene, the game would lock up. A quick quit, load and carry on meant I could carry on beyond the point of lock up, but especially at certain points it became too frequent. Mixed with other points where I couldn’t move the character or scroll through hot spots (again fixed with quitting and loading the game), became very frustrating at points.
I’ve have thoroughly enjoyed playing Inner World. Robert is simple and endearing with a heart of gold, the supporting cast are full of life and many charms of their own. Asposia is a rich world with it’s own lore and legends that are never left unexplained. With some more thorough QA this would be an absolute must play.
With a beautifully crafted and drawn world, a wide cast of hilarious characters and one very endearing lead protagonist, Inner World is a point and click adventure I would recommend to any fan of the genre. Although patience is required if you’re unlucky enough to fall foul to the game stopping, but simple to fix bugs.
- Well told story with world lore never left unexplained
- Beautifully hand drawn world and characters
- Great humour with innuendos and puns missed by poor Robert
- Gradual hint system to help you along
- Damn bugs