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Inside Xbox One Game Review

Reviewed by on Jun 13, 2016
Rating: 5 Star Rating

Playdeads follow up to Limbo is as dark and exciting as you would expect. Kidzworld has your Xbox One review of the mysterious world of Inside.

By: Max Cannon

Attention: This is a review of a Mature rated game.

As haunting as it is beautiful, Inside is a puzzle platformer from Danish developer Playdead. If you want a simple and straightforward story than you'll want to move onto the next game. However, if you can soak in the dire tone, the gorgeous graphics, and the smart puzzles then you'll be in for one of 2016's best games. 

Inside Video Review - Xbox One


The main boy you play as is mostly just a catalyst for the player. There are no motivations, no explanation, no back story, there's not much to obviously tell you what's happening. There are tastes of political intrigue and each of the varied environments tell a story without saying a single world. Though things wrap up by giving very little in terms of answers, the story is still kicking around in my head and I'm trying to make sense of what exactly happened. By the time the final act begins you'll see one of the most "what the heck" segments of any game you've ever played, I guarantee it.

A Dark Story With Light Puzzles

If you've played Limbo, Playdead's previous game, you'll be familiar with the gameplay. Aside from moving across a gorgeous 2.5d world, you'll only be jumping or grabbing objects. Pushing and pulling blocks makes up the majority of puzzles which range in difficulty from "amateur hour" to "duh, I should've noticed that immediately." The only aspect of gameplay that remotely rubbed me the wrong way was the emphasis on swimming in the later sections of the game. The levels/puzzles aren't bad necessarily but they grew tiresome compared to the exciting chases and narrow escapes of the platforming sections. Inside is never too hard if you take your time and explore every inch of the world. Luckily, the world of Inside is one of the most attention grabbing ones I've ever played in.

Dystopian societies are nothing new to games, what sets Inside apart is how well paced your tour through this world is. While the occasional puzzle may slow you down for a moment, you're always cruising through so many varied settings that things never feel stale. The locations clearly take Orwellian inspiration from books like Animal Farm and 1984. So, while the surface level plot is hard to get a handle on, the deeper symbolism is much more apparent.

Our unnamed hero infiltrates the Orwellian city.Our unnamed hero infiltrates the Orwellian city.Courtesy of Playdead

Heavy On The Heart, Easy On The Eyes

Though Limbo's art style was catching and memorable it wasn't necessarily a graphically demanding game. Inside is one of the best looking games I've played on my Xbox One. You won't see photo realism from Inside but its art style isn't held back by hardware limitations. Distant backdrops are reminiscent of paintings. Pretty sunsets, deep forests, and dark caves are showcases for the game's impressive lighting. The lightly desaturated characters and landscapes are accentuated whenever a stream of light pokes through shadows. 

The animations are believable and their realism adds a sense of urgency. When your character stumbles after a jump or if an enemy struggles when apprehending you, it feels like these are moments that add to the world as much as your environment does. And the animations shown off in the final chunk of the story are some of the most impressive and malleable movements I've ever seen in a game.

A gorgeously lit puzzle from an early level of the game.A gorgeously lit puzzle from an early level of the game.Courtesy of Playdead

Inside was rated M for Mature by the ESRB. While the game doesn't push the rating of Mature there is one thing that stood out. There isn't much violence in the game unless your character is killed. It's uncomfortable and pretty disturbing, especially given how detailed the aforementioned animations are. While there isn't much M rated content, aside from those deaths, I'd be wrong to suggest this great game without acknowledging this content. 

Final Thoughts

Inside is my favorite exclusive on the Xbox One and potentially the best game I've played this year. Its dark and brooding world is finished up in an expertly paced 3 hours. Inside doesn't often overstay its welcome and consistently impressed me with its setting. If you have an Xbox One--and you're of the appropriate age to play this game--you have to pick this up. You won't find many games that are such a great use of your time. Play Inside.


  • Atmospheric Setting
  • Gorgeous Graphics


  • Rare Missteps in Pacing

Inside Game Rating:5

Available for Xbox One and PC

Inside Cover ArtInside Cover ArtCourtesy of Xbox
Have Your Say!

Will you pick up Inside? Have you played Playdead's first game, Limbo? Comment your thoughts below!