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InnerSpace (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Brandon Howard 16.01.2018

Review for InnerSpace on Nintendo Switch

There's something to be said for the kind of quiet contemplation offered by games built around large, empty atmospheres. Journey and Shadow of the Collosus are both great examples of titles that are helped by the way they give their players time to contemplate their atmosphere and just drink in the overall atmosphere. InnerSpace works off of that same design sense, but pairs it with the exhilaration of soaring through the sky: in theory, at least.

InnerSpace is a freeform exploration flight game set within the Inverse, a collection of planets that's been warped by the power of various demigods, who used the power of wind to the point of closing off the Inverse from others. Controlling the Cartographer, a device built to navigate the Inverse through flight, the player is tasked with collecting artefacts left behind by the ancients, ancient beings that inhabited the Inverse long before.

Artefacts are one of two main collectibles the Cartographer is tasked with collecting - the other being fragments of wind left behind inside the Inverse. Collecting more items and solving puzzles unlocks more and more of the Inverse, which can be travelled between through the use of gates. Each area is moderately self-contained, with a few simple puzzles and artefacts to collect in each.

The worlds are relatively small to start with, but grow in scope over the course of the adventure. The worlds all have very washed-out colour schemes, which don't help with how difficult they are to navigate. The controls are extremely touchy, and the camera feels stiff and frequently in conflict with the Cartographer's controls.

Screenshot for InnerSpace on Nintendo Switch

The worlds are extremely frustrating to navigate, and they just feel generally unsatisfying. There's so much empty space that generally looks the same. There are puzzles and collectibles to hunt for, but they are generally so close to the edge of the levels that they don't really encourage soaring through the large, open areas. It's actually a more optimal strategy to ignore most of the level completely, and instead skim the ground for all the artefacts and bits of wind.

There are also a fair number of noticeable slowdowns that really make it difficult to progress at times. For a flight game, there are a lot of segments that involve close navigation in the tight corridors, and accidently hitting one changes the angle of the plane, and causes a really unhelpful screen shake. Combined with the stuttering, it just feels extremely disorienting, overall.

It's kind of a shame that InnerSpace doesn't make better use of its wide-open areas, because they really are beautiful. The music, paired with the serene, empty environments, are really gorgeous, but there's just so little point to navigating them for the most part. They serve as a hub for smaller, individual challenges and bosses, but not for much else.

It feels like the main drive to complete challenges is to unlock more of the world and explore its lore, which is somewhat compelling, at least. It has a very Zelda-like vibe, with bits and pieces of the back-story being fed to you by bosses and a floating exposition machine that follows the Cartographer around. It's an okay reason to keep exploring the Inverse, but it's not a super compelling one when you factor in how difficult InnerSpace is to actually play.

InnerSpace is an exploration game that doesn't feel rewarding to explore. It's got some serious control issues, and it's got a lot of weird lag issues. There are also a few issues with consistency; some actions affect the world in ways on one level don't always feel reproducible on other stages. The navigation issues just compound this, and the constant forward momentum really just feels disorienting.

Screenshot for InnerSpace on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

InnerSpace falls more than a bit short of the heights it aspires to. The levels feel hard to navigate and they aren't helped by the laggy controls and constant motion of the Cartographer. It feels poorly optimised for Nintendo Switch, with frequent camera stutters and choppy frame-rates. It's overall a very unsatisfying experience, which is made all the more frustrating by the sheer potential InnerSpace has. The beautiful environments and quietly haunting atmosphere are still enchanting, but everything else just feels empty.

Developer

PolyKnight Games

Publisher

PolyKnight Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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