Games Review: Inside (Switch, 2018): Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride

Playdead’s Inside follows rather closely in the footsteps of Limbo, the developer’s debut title. Though it revisits many of the mechanics that made Limbo so interesting, Inside has a purpose and a story to tell that is as different to its predecessor as its possible to be. On the Switch, that story can now be experienced anywhere.

Inside begins in much the same way Limbo did — a boy, alone in a forest and on the move, encountering puzzles and solving them as he goes in order to  progress. Some of these puzzles are physics based, some of them require lateral thinking, and some of them simply ask you to explore each area thoroughly. So much of the game is based around the concept of movement. Your character moves with a sense of urgency, as though being hunted, as though they’re on the run from something. They are not.

If you’ve played the game, and you may have in the two years since it launched, then you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, I don’t want to spoil anything further. For those only coming to the game now, the Switch may present the perfect version to dive in with.

Inside is not a long game. It can be clocked in about two or three hours provided none of the puzzles hold you up too long. This makes it kind of perfect for playing while commuting on public transport. It runs well on the Switch, though the hardware can’t quite hit the frame rate the game boasts on other platforms. The 30fps lock never truly detracts from the experience, and it means the game doesn’t have to compromise on its atmospheric lighting and characterful animations.

There’s no real downside here. Inside knows what it wants to say and it executes on that vision with clarity and polish. It is by turns dystopic and grim, utterly foul and blackly funny. It strikes a balance between tickling your brain with puzzles and keeping you moving ever forward. And now you can take it with you on the Switch.

Score: 9.5 out of 10
Highlights: Short and sweet; Solid puzzles; What an ending
Lowlights: Lower frame rate may be bothersome for some
Developer: Playdead
Publisher: Playdead
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Available: Now

Review conducted on Nintendo Switch with a retail code provided by the publisher.