The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk from Studio Fizbin is the sequel to the aesthetically good looking ‘The Inner world’ which released on PC back in 2013 and on PS4 earlier this year. I’ll be honest, I haven’t played the original on the PS4 but this wasn’t required to get the full enjoyable experience out of this title as everything is explained as you go along – you also receive both the original and the sequel in one pack if you purchase the game physically. The game really stands out from the other point and click games on PS4 with its humour and art style and it was an absolute pleasure to dive into Asposia and interact with all of its wacky inhabitants.
You play as the main protagonist, Robert, and his trusty pigeon, Peck. The story begins with you, Robert, petrified and turned into stone; you take control of Peck and must find a way to reverse this effect and give life back to Robert. Once Robert has been restored you must go on a journey through Asposia to save all of the ‘flute noses’ (a group of Asposians who have flutes for noses) from being put to death by an evil dictator called Emil. You also get to play as Laura, the female street-smart friend of Robert who has been captured by Emil and must escape and be reunited with our protagonist.
Your journey starts three years after the end of the first game, so both you and Robert are oblivious to what has happened since (the previous game is all summed up in the intro) which is a nice touch as it means other people tell you what’s going on not just for exposition, but also because your character really has no idea what’s happened. You are guided on your journey by ‘Mama Dola’, a mystic old lady, and distracted by the voice of your adoptive father, Conroy. Throughout your adventure you will be solving puzzles, talking to the inhabitants, travelling to new locations and even learning new songs for you to play to control the wind.
The game contains a few ‘inventory puzzles’ which is where you pick up various items and then use them with each other to create solutions to problems/puzzles on within the game – I didn’t come across any ‘Moon logic’ puzzles though (these are impossible to figure out solutions, like going back in time to catch a frog to place in the mouth of a sleeping wizard to catch a butterfly – in Discworld). The puzzles are quite straightforward but tricky enough to make you use your brain to figure things out, it is also quite rewarding when you do figure them out, without any hints, as the solutions aren’t presented to you in an obvious way most of the time.
One of the things you can do, if you are really stuck, is press the L2 button at any point and it will list your ‘objectives’ for the area. If you select any of these then you can obtain hints on what to do next – the first few times you select it, it will give you a vague push in the right direction but eventually, it will flat out give you the answer, so no need looking online for a guide or walkthrough. If, however, you do get stuck then the game has all the help and support right there for you. There is a trophy locked to this process though, so if you are trying to get the platinum then you want to use it as little as possible (however there is also a trophy for using it a lot, so back-up your save and reload or abuse it in the first screen).
One of the first things that will stand out whilst playing the game, other than the beautiful art style, is the NPCs with whom you interact with. These range from a traveling salesman who has been waiting three years for the cable car to be turned on, a ‘bingo pony’ (which is a unicorn who has lost his lucky ball, his horn, his horseshoe and whose hair is a mess) and Uncle Oboe (who has been imprisoned and you must play a game with him to win some toilet paper). The dialogue is hilarious and the character design really fits each NPC. All of the dialogue is voiced and it is all delivered in a consistent and well-acted performance. The music is very subtle but matches the mood and visuals of the location you are currently at perfectly.
I really enjoyed my time with The Inner World: the Last Wind Monk, it’s an aesthetically good looking game with clever puzzles and very funny dialogue. The story will have you wanting more and the characters will have you wishing you could just talk to them all day to see what they will come up with next. If you have enjoyed recent games like The Inner World, Silence or Deponia then you will really enjoy this title. If you have not played the original then maybe consider buying the game at retail so you get them both for the price of one.
**Update: Please ensure you update to the latest version of the game as the developers have fixed a few issues with obtaining certain trophies. It is now possible to obtain the platinum.**
The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk
- If bought in physical form then you receive both the original and the sequel in one pack
- The dialogue is really funny and well-acted
- The puzzles get you to think about the solution rather than being obvious all the time
- The art style looks really good on a HDTV, clean and crisp characters on hand drawn backgrounds
- The game is a good length for a point and click game (roughly 7-8 hours)
- Not much innovation in terms of gameplay compared to standard point and click games
- The game has an autosave process without a manual save option – this is handy, but if you make a mistake when aiming for trophies or if the game bugs out then it will result in requiring another playthrough if the autosave kicks in.