INSIDE (2016)

Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project. The second game from Limbo developer Playdead.

  • Simple interface
  • Design screenplay, challenging reasonably
  • Beautiful graphics with distinctive features
  • Good and touching twist game
  • The game's length is short

Surely many people still remember the name LIMBO earned much attention and critical praise in 2010. Also from the developer of LIMBO, INSIDE was successfully launched. Inside has a basic concept which is quite similar to LIMBO. It’s simple but leaves a very strong impression on players. The game was nominated as the game of the year and was also honored in several other categories.

2016 was the year of Indie games, with many good games released and achieved many successes, including INSIDE, the game belongs to the genre of adventure-puzzle, adventure, developed by Playdead.

Shortly after the official launch, INSIDE won the Best Independent Game and Best Art Direction awards at The Game Awards 2016 and Best Independent Game of Game Critics Awards, in addition to many nominations in many categories like Best Music/Sound Design, Best Narrative, etc.

Inside Game Walkthrough ~ FunkyVideoGames

In addition to awards, high scores, and positive reviews from professionals, INSIDE has also been warmly received by players, giving many compliments and high scores on evaluation systems such as Steam Customer Reviews, Metacritic; news sites, magazines like IGN, Gamespot, and CNET.

The Video Game As Art – The Free Weekly

INSIDE tells the story of an unnamed boy who seeks to survive from the army’s hunt. The game does not have any lines, all of the storylines are made by players who feel and tell their own story. INSIDE is a gloomy and obsessive world, with the main colors being gray and black, the colors of war. The scenes commonly seen during wartime are the game’s main scenery, like factories, broken streets, and collapse scenes.

INSIDE’s world is a dangerous place. Our boy is forced to flee from the pursuit of the oppressive class as he unknowingly discovered their conspiracy, and perhaps he must rescue their pitiful victims alone. He even has to dive deeper into the dark and mysterious cases of the shady industry.

Players will feel suffocated every minute by the conundrums that need to be solved before the deadly trap is activated or run before the mysterious hunter.

Minimalist Graphics
Playdead INSIDE fanart by andrew spencer on Dribbble

The INSIDE’s mysterious and dark story is told through spaces mostly covered by darkness, dotted by sometimes light bulbs, bright spots, or faint sunlight along the way. Light and darkness blend together to create a typical scene and is the highlight of Inside in terms of graphics.

We can see a significant change of Inside compared to Limbo is the 2.5D image interface. While the player controls the character moving in 2D, the other character designs and environments are drawn in 3D.


That said, the minimalist drawing style of the character is very compatible with the faint design, the faceless characters, or the dim environment, extremely suitable for the hostile world in INSIDE.

The quality of the image is also shown through carefully invested background scenes. Wherein, INSIDE’s scenes and backgrounds are designed to be closely associated with the game. The details, objects, or characters in the previous scene may be far away, standing in the background but then it may be the key to help players solve the riddle they are facing.

Dedicated sound


Speaking of the art in INSIDE, it is impossible not to mention the sound of the game. Sound effects of the surrounding environment such as the sound of rain, water, wind, also contribute to the in-game visuals come to life.

In addition to the sounds of the surrounding environment, as enjoying Inside, the player will also like every sound is polished by Playdead such as the sound of the footsteps on different materials and environments such as water, metal, wood or the breathing of the main character in each situation, combined with matching background music, all create different emotions and causing players to get caught up in the story of INSIDE.

Simple gameplay
Inside Inside | Kotaku UK

INSIDE is a Platform game that often requires the player’s agility. Like LIMBO, Inside has simple gameplay, but it is 2.5 D game and not quite 2D as its predecessor. The fact that this game is 2.5D has some impact on gameplay, making the game more depth, and creating a more realistic feel.

Inside's Real Doll Collector's Edition Delayed - Switch

INSIDE has simple gameplay with only 5 controls including 4 movement buttons and 1 interaction button with objects. The objective of the player is to find a way to overcome the obstacles to keep moving forward and to understand more about what is happening to the protagonist.

However, it seems quite simple but each obstacle is a form of challenge, a puzzle that requires the player to think carefully and link with the clues along the way to find the answer. INSIDE’s way of building situations and obstacles is very good and attractive, making players feel excited when they find a way to solve a situation.

‘Worth the praise’
Inside — Morten Hedegren - Level Designer

With the foregoing in mind, we can say that INSIDE absolutely deserves every award it received and the warm welcome of the players. It’s worth a try for those who have not known INSIDE.

And up to the time publishing, the game is rated highly as expected by a lot of people when the current Metacritic score is 91/100, calculated on an average scale from 41 reviews of the prestigious gaming newspapers in the world.

I loved the implications of Limbo’s ending, it’s something that I think about quite often still, but Inside’s final chapter is the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night. It’s an unrelenting storm of nightmarish realities that completely blindsides you, and then things just get weirder from there.

PSNStores (100/100)

Inside very clearly builds upon what made Limbo great, and in fact builds something greater. Its unimaginable twist may leave you dumbfounded, confused, and quite possibly speechless, but it will fuel heated discussion with your friends about its meaning, its message, and its intentions.

IGN, (100/100)

From beginning to end brings a lot of surprises and secrets for players to discover. Like the person before Limbo, Inside ends up being ambitious and powerful, leaving many emotions and thoughts for the player. While not causing the player to ask as much as the previous game, Inside leaves us with deep insight on the message of the boy’s journey. INSIDE conveys a simple yet lofty message about the individual, about the position of the individual in the community, and of the oppressed people.

You can buy INSIDE here.

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