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InnerSpace Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . As a game about flying, swimming and exploration, InnerSpace is a lot of fun. I had a great time uncovering all of the relics and solving the many puzzles. Where the game stumbles is in telling an emotionally resonant story. It feels like there are a lot of good ideas left unexplored in this game. I had a good time learning about this unusual world, but found myself a little disappointed when it was all over. That's the Inverse of what I was hoping for. Rating: 64%
InnerSpace
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  • Review Score:

  • B-
When you hear a game described as "non-violent" and "story-driven," a lot of people immediately picture something like Gone Home or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. That is to say, games where the story takes priority over gameplay, interaction and pretty much everything else. But InnerSpace isn't like that. Yes, this is a non-violent story-driven game, but it's also about exploration, flying, puzzle solving and so much more. InnerSpace is an adventure game I couldn't wait to unpack.

You take control of an autonomous flying machine created by an old Archaeologist. He built the craft in order to help him explore and document this unusual world known as the Inverse before it's destroyed once and for all. The goal is to navigate your way around the Inverse picking up the relics in order to help the Archaeologist save the memories of this strange and forgotten land.


What makes the Inverse so unusual is that it's actually a series of locations, each confined to the inside of a large sphere. There's still water, buildings, mountains and the things you world normally see, only this time it's trapped in a large round object. There's no horizon here, which can be both exhilarating and disorienting at the same exact time.

Aside from the Archaeologist occasionally pointing his flying machine in the right direction, InnerSpace doesn't have the structure of most adventure games. This really is about exploring these inverted worlds in an effort to locate ruins and pick up little bubbles filled with wind. There are music and environmental clues to what you're supposed to do, but a lot of it is about poking around and figuring out the puzzles you'll need to solve in order to advance to the next location.

Beyond simply giving the Archaeologist more information about the Inverse, these relics will also allow him to upgrade the craft in a number of ways. One of the biggest changes is the ability to not just fly through the air, but dive deep underwater and swim for more treasure. You'll also be able to change to faster and slower flying machines, but being able to switch to a submarine is a feature built into each of them.

InnerSpace (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

There's something kind of relaxing about the whole experience, which isn't what I expected going in. Both in the air and underwater, there's never a sense of urgency to the game. You explore these worlds at your own pace, just finding relics, picking up wind bubbles and solving puzzles. There aren't any enemies to kill or obstacles to dodge, it's merely a broken down old world that is getting ready to die.

I like that each of the locations has a different look and feel. These aren't just carbon copies of other worlds, but instead give us new types of puzzles to wrap our brains around. Some of the stages have you navigating way through narrow tunnels and corridors, while others will be wide open, both above and below water. You'll occasionally run into ancient creatures still lingering around and looking to pass their knowledge to a next person. Or, in this case, next flying machine.

Unfortunately, that leads me to my biggest criticism: The story isn't as fleshed out as it needs to be. Look, I'm not saying that it needs to become one of those linear story-based games where it's all about the narrative, but it feels like this game stops short of doing anything truly memorable with the story. Part of the problem is that there isn't much of a connection between the Archaeologist and his creation, so their matter-of-fact conversations did little more than provide information. There are long stretches where they barely talk, and what is said is of little importance. Most of the interesting bits come from other characters looking to share their information about the Inverse, but even that lacks the emotional punch you would hope for.

InnerSpace (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I also found the flying to be a bit tricky at times, especially when it comes to those narrow corridors I was talking about earlier. Because the flying machine is always moving, it's easy to bounce around the environment and get even more disoriented than you already were. It's not that the flying is difficult. In fact, once I got used to it, I found traveling around these worlds to be a breeze. But it's a little too easy to lose control in cramped spaces or get into trouble when going into shallow waters.

As a game about flying, swimming and exploration, InnerSpace is a lot of fun. I had a great time uncovering all of the relics and solving the many puzzles. Where the game stumbles is in telling an emotionally resonant story. It feels like there are a lot of good ideas left unexplored in this game. I had a good time learning about this unusual world, but found myself a little disappointed when it was all over. That's the Inverse of what I was hoping for.
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