After many time-consuming games it was a relief to get into some shorter ones recently. Starting with the brilliant sci-fi side-scroller Inside, made by the Danish Playdead Studios, known for the similar game Limbo. This is a tough one to discuss without spoiling unfortunately, but it is a strong contender for top five games of 2016 in my opinion.
It starts simple with your character dropping down in a forest at night time and immediately having to escape towards the right. Controls are easy as well with essentially only a jump-button and another one for pulling crates and levers. There are simple puzzles that must be solved along the way but they rarely, if ever, stop you in your track for more than a couple of minutes. What makes Inside so great is the setup, the visuals and how the story is unwrapped. I got the occasional chill down the spine but I would not call Inside a scary game, instead it made me more curious to push forward and filled my head with thoughts and questions. It only took me about 4 hours to finish and many will probably want to play it in a single sitting. Then there are secrets to seek out in a second round for those that desire. If you are a fan of this kind of short games give Inside a go. I would also rank it high on the “sci-fi evocative story”-scale. A stunning achievement by Playdead and I guess I should do another attempt at Limbo soon. My Steam-review ended up being unusually sparse but still summarize well my thoughts:
Inside checks all the marks I care most for, namely it is:
A strong contender for best game of 2016.