The Inner World is another in our look at adventure games for Android. We’ve already looked at Yesterday, Detective Grimoire and the superb Blackwell Series. It’s clear that there’s some excellent adventure game titles available on Android but will The Inner World be amongst them?
This is Headup Games first attempt at a point and click adventure game, having previously been better known for the very successful Bridge Constructor Playground. The game sees you play as Robert, the slightly dim court musician, on an artificial world called Asposia. Three fans provide the air for the inhabitants of Asposia and, one by one, these fans have stopped working. Robert finds himself on a quest to save the planet with his slightly mysterious sidekick thief, Laura.
From the outset this game really did remind me of classic adventure games like Monkey Island. Overall The Inner World plays really well, with the puzzles being some of the more abstract of all the games we’ve seen in our Android adventure games series, sometimes a little too abstract. The game is broken down in to scrolling playable areas and, like The Blackwell Series and Detective Grimoire, puzzle elements span the playable areas making you collect items and return to previously played through areas. This also unlocks additional conversations and items as you progress. It’s fairly standard stuff, but done with real thought and passion.
I have to say that I started playing through The Inner World. The first time round I didn’t get in to it. I’m not sure why but it left me a bit cold and I just didn’t connect with it. A week or so later I picked it back up again and suddenly, BAM!, it grabbed me. The first few puzzles, which I felt to be a bit arbitrary, matured as I progressed and I found myself really warming to the journey of the little musician on the screen. As I moved to-and-fro through the areas the conversations expanded and I realised that there was more to this game than I at first thought.
It’s not perfect however; some of the touch points are tricky to hit on anything smaller than a tablet or the largest of phablet style phones and the inventory icon needs to be a few pixels larger if you want to hit it without walking about the screen. All told though the playability is solid inspired stuff.
The graphics are really well done and I’ve really enjoyed playing through all our Android adventure games for that reason. It’s one genre of games that I think really allows for the artistic style of the studios to shine through, and it’s no exception with The Inner World. It’s certainly got a quirky, unique, design running through the game.
It feels a lot like you are playing through a slightly dark kids bedtime story book and it manages to mingle that sense of darkness with the innocence – some would say stupidity – of the main character. There’s detail everywhere you look and if you are a lover of good looking adventure games then this is one for you.
Overall the audio is pretty decent if a little lacking. The voice-overs, which are available in both English and German, are well done and of a decent quality though the lead characters voice can become a little grating after a while. I also felt like I wanted more background ambient noise as I moved around. A lack of background chatter or people going about their lives makes the areas feel a lot more empty than the artwork implies.
You won’t be disappointed by the sound but I think that more could be done to match the visual style with a good audio style.
The Inner World is beautifully imagined and is a solid addition to your collection. It’s artwork is gorgeous and as the game develops you’ll find yourself increasingly loving the characters. There are better games in the genre – in my mind the Blackwell Series is by far the leader as an overall experience and as a show of passion for gaming – but really there aren’t many that look so unique and develop as well. You might choose to play the game with the sound off – if you do you’ll miss out on some great voice overs – but doing so won’t affect the playability.
I’m really looking forward to the next adventure game from Headup Games and if they build on The Inner World and focus on a few key areas any future game will be an instant classic.