Developer: Headup Games and Studio Fizbin

Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.2
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆ 
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Germany is clearly doing something right when it comes to adventure games. With companies like Daedalic and King Art Games creating consecutive multiple entries in the point-and-click genre, even despite not matching the phenomenal heights of LucasArts and TellTale Games, they certainly are doing an incredibly good job of trying.

Finally arriving on iOS, The Inner World is a charming and quirky adventure game created by German developer Studio Fizbin. Not long ago released for PC, it received mixed reviews due to pacing problems and largely frustrating and highly illogical puzzles. So does the port to iOS make a huge difference in terms of gameplay?

Not really. The Inner World is a subterranean tale set in the world of Asposia; a land in which everything is made from soil. The wind, once powering the city’s wind turbines by pouring in through holes, is now fading away, and city leader Conroy constantly preaches austerity to the public in the hope that the wind will somehow find its way back to Asposia. Robert, Conroy’s assistant, is a young Asposian who stands alone from everyone else due to his flute-like nose.

IMG_0369Worrying about where the wind blows is the least of Asposia’s problems, as a species called the Basylians have been petrifying the people of Asposia – metaphorically and physically. Conroy’s reasoning for this is their sinful ways and maintains that praying will bring everyone to safety. In the midst of all this, Robert falls down a rubbish chute, and so begins an adventure of this ridiculous naive little dude as he attempts to retrieve a stolen item and instead learns some home truths about his master, among a great many other secrets.

The hand-drawn art style looks refreshingly unique, and is interesting enough to hook new players into purchasing it. The storyline and puzzles remain unchanged, and both the game’s humorous dialogue and voice acting are outstanding. That said, it is a nice feeling to be able to play The Inner World on a more portable device, and though there are some issues with lagging from time to time it managed to truly recreate that ‘old school’ feeling.

IMG_0375As mentioned before, the puzzles are clever but feel as though they lack anything unique to really engage the player. Instead they can be somewhat boring, and players can sometimes feel like there are too many unnecessary obstacles strategically placed to slow the game down considerably. The main complaint I have with The Inner World is that – although unique, clever, and charming in part – it failed to engage me, and I found the long-drawn adventure particularly tiring.

The Inner World is a notably superb port from its PC counterpart, but doesn’t particularly offer anything new here either. Players looking for a conventional retro puzzled-based adventure will love The Inner World, but in the end it wasn’t so much the eccentric comedy romp that I was expecting. To each their own, though.


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