The point and click genre has seen somewhat of a resurrection from the grave in recent years. With the 90’s delivering defining titles such as Discworld and The Secret of Monkey Island, the years after brought somewhat of a point and click drought. However, with this decade seeing the indie scene and smaller developers rise strong through both Steam and consoles, with it has brought some excellent, charming titles. And The Inner World from Head Up Games falls into both these categories.
Set in what is best described as a world deep within another, you take on the role of Robert. Under an unending depth of soil, the world of Asposia sees Robert, who is a young apprentice to a resident wind Monk called Conroy. Wind is the light and soul of Asposia, with the element entering the world through different tunnels. However, with the wind that is dying out, the wind gods are displeased with their worlds inhabitants. Without the wind, there can be no light, and without light, the world is facing certain doom. It just so happens that Robert, who unexpectedly ‘escapes’ from his quarters, may just be the one to restore Asposia to its former glory.
The first thing you can’t fail to notice about The Inner World is its design. Graphically, it’s like watching and partaking in a cartoon. With smooth movement and a lot of attention to detail by the artists. It’s a sheer joy to look at for the duration of the game. Where the design falls back slightly is that of its own controller interface. Whist this is classed predominantly as a ‘point and click’ title, it’s more a case of just ‘click. You can scroll through areas of interaction with the shoulder bumpers. However, this doesn’t feel as polished or smooth and often leads to cycling past an area of interest. Or worse still, struggling to highlight the area you want at all.
There are plenty of puzzles that need to be solved as you progress along your journey. Items are also a key area to achieving progression through The Inner World. It’s logical, in the sense that if you think an item can be combined with another, the chances are it will. This is a relief as the game doesn’t leave you endlessly trying to combine items in the attempt to create something which in reality, doesn’t exist or make sense.
Dialogue is a large part of The Inner World, and is also a part of its downfall. Conversations can be long winded at times, but it is mostly for the sake of conversation rather than that of story progression or clues as to how to solve a puzzle in question. It soon becomes tedious trading barbs and mostly demonstrates Roberts childish side. It’s by no means a deal breaker, but a more streamlined approach to conversation would have infinitely improved the experience. That being said, there are some excellent conversations with subtle humour to be had along the way.
The Inner World is a great addition to the point and click genre. If you’re one of the hardcore there’s a challenge to be. But it’s just as accessible for newcomers and casual gamers alike. With an intriguing story that shows itself as a love letter to Discworld, it is titles like these that are truly helping to not only resurrect the genre, but redefine what they are about for veterans and the next generation alike.
The Inner World is available from the Xbox Store, priced at £11.99.
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The Inner World is both charming and a visual delight to play through, with a story worthy of the late, great Terry Pratchett and hiscreation: Discworld. Whilst not without its flaws of pointless dialogue and a clunky control system, it’s definitely an excellent addition to the point and click genre for the seasoned and newcomers alike.