Developer: PolyKnight Games
Publisher: Aspyr Media
Category: Adventure, Other
Release Date: 01.16.2018
Innerspace is an explorative, flying, collectathon with beautiful visuals and atmospheric music that is attuned to your current environment, and changes when you adjust your position!
When you begin the game, you will be put through a skippable tutorial that teaches you the controls of your ship, and allows you to practice the different maneuvers that are necessary to master to navigate your way through the game. While you will have an opportunity to hone your skills during the game, which is very forgiving of crashes, it is recommended that you complete the tutorial to have a better grasp of the intuitive controls.
After that, you find yourself in a cave having a discussion with an entity known only as “the archaeologist”. This entity informs you that it is exploring the world to collect relics left behind by “the ancients” so that it can learn about them. However, there are many places it was unable to access on its own, so it constructed you, an artificially intelligent airplane that he calls Cartographer, to fly around the Inverse and collect those relics which are out of reach.
After you recover the first relic, the Archaeologist discovers that these can be used as upgrades to enable you to better interact with the Inverse. The first upgrade unlocks the door blocking your path going forward. You learn now that you can use your wings to clip wires, and that you can ram your way through walls.
In the next section of the Inverse, you are tasked with collecting wind, and gathering the chunks of a relic. PolyKnight Games has here utilized the Nintendo Switch’s HD Rumble feature to help you in location these relic chunks. Leading up to this, there has been some neat little ticks and rumbles to indicate acceleration and dodging when coming close to obstacles, but when you fly close to an area that has a relic chunk, the joycon started to alternate rumble intensity between the two sides and even use the motors to make a really cool beeping sound! At first I couldn’t tell if it was part of the sound effects or the joycon themselves, so I muted the volume and removed all doubt. For those that have read my.previous reviews, you know that I LOVE my HD rumble, particularly when the motors are used to make sound effects. PolyKnight knocked it out of the park with this one, and I can’t wait to see what comes next for this quirky little feature.
Back to the game. In this next chamber of the Inverse, we are introduced to landing pillars. These allow you to stop, and reposition yourself before launching again. This is a very welcome addition, as sometimes the autopilot that constantly drags you forward can make it difficult to point yourself in the right direction at times. This leads me to my only real criticism of the game. While the whole affair is very smooth, taking sharp turns and rolling a little more quickly than you intended can be very disorienting, and even caused me some dizziness from time to time. If you easily succumb to motion sickness, this isn’t the game for you. This is mitigated in docked mode, but then you are faced with the all too common problem of having hard to read text.
This is important for the game itself, as it is full of lore about the ancients that the archaeologist is learning about. This lore is interesting, and helps give life to a mostly dead world. These little snippets of lore often give clues as to where you need to go and how to obtain it.
Overall, Innerspace is a very calm, and relaxing game. The music is very laid back, and the focus is on casually exploring this beautiful world full of oceans and caves. You will become lost, frequently, and sometimes feel like you’re making no progress, but the mellow atmosphere keeps it from becoming frustrating.
I recommend Innerspace for those that like to take their time, or for those that just need to unwind a little bit. If you have issues with motion sickness, it would be best to avoid.