Indie Spotlight – Inside

From the people who brought you “Limbo” the monochromatic side-scroller, here they have made another creepy puzzle-platformer called “Inside.” Inside is a trial and error type of game with a mysterious story and just the right amount of horror. The company Playdead is known for making games with eerie atmosphere, but they also tend to use minimalistic gameplay. As such, they made Inside a game that focuses more on puzzles so you can get lost in the disturbing world.

So many things can kill you in this game and you will most certainly watch your character die in horribly twisted ways. Thankfully Inside has a forgiving auto-save feature that lets you start very close to the last place you were alive. Inside has very unusual puzzle mechanics, but they are easy to figure out. If you’re familiar with Limbo’s controls then you will have very little trouble getting the hang of it. Just like that game, Inside only has two buttons you have to press in the entire game. These buttons are “grab” and “jump.” What’s even better is that if you’re not comfortable with the premade selections for these two buttons, several of the other buttons perform the same function. There is one slightly more complicated gameplay mechanic they added for Inside that wasn’t in Limbo. At times you will have to rotate the control stick while pressing the grab button or press up or down while pressing it. This requires a little more effort to solve certain puzzles, but it’s not usually timed. Gamers with fine motor skill impairments shouldn’t have any trouble at all playing this game. Inside requires you to repeat moments to find solutions, but no physical barriers to the gameplay. The brightness feature is one of the only other option you can change in the game. Inside can get pretty dark, but with this sliding scale I believe gamers with visual impairments will do fine. Good news for gamers with hearing impairments; Inside has no lines of dialogue so there are no subtitles needed.

The atmosphere is the best part of Inside. Unsettling puzzles, strange environments, and a very interesting story makes Inside a brilliant game. There are very few buttons to press, so gamers with fine motor skill impairments won’t have much of a problem. Industrial sounds and ambient music help set the mood in this game, but deaf players can still enjoy the experience. I highly recommend any disabled gamer to pick up this game.

Written by: Michael Matlock

Michael Matlock developed a passionate interest in technology and has sharpened his love of video games since the ripe old age of four. Though born with the autosomal genetic disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, honing his tech and gaming interests helped him cope with the ongoing degeneration of his spinal motor neurons and weakening muscular system. Michael firmly believes in the validity of gaming as an art form and enjoys both the atmosphere and soundtrack of a title as much as the gameplay itself. While entertained by a wide-variety of games, the Horror and Role-playing genres have repeatedly piqued Michael’s interest. The Persona series, in particular, had a profound impact on his life. After writing reviews for ablegamers.com for several years, Michael created his own YouTube channel, using The Crippled Critic alias, to highlight the importance of game accessibility. Most recently, Michael was asked to speak on the topic at Gwinnett College. The lack of control options in games and the tendency get rid of legacy controls, motivated him to help give other disabled gamers information about a game before they buy it. Today, Michael finds a lack of auto-aim to be a particular design annoyance. And though rapidly changing, Michael favors games developed on the PlayStation 4 and the PC platforms due to the additional options disabled gamers have to address a publisher’s oversights.

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