Xbox One | 2016 | ★★★★★
Just as a painting can be described simply as a picture to hang, INSIDE (by PlayDead, makers of LIMBO) is simply a 2D puzzle platformer where a silent protagonist runs left to right, dodging danger. It’s about three hours long.
It’s also a complete work of art by every measure. It’s breathtaking, disquieting, and enthralling. It’s a procession of macabre set-pieces that beg to be taken in, interpreted, and put aside just in time for the next. It’s vicious: one wrong move and you’re murdered, often brutally, by a vague, dystopian world with no place for you.
And for such a work of art, it’s accessible to any gamer. Run left to right, swim, grab, and jump occasionally. But mostly stare, listen, breathe, gasp, and sit back, jaw open.
I’m not sure what I can really add to the discussion on this game, but it receives the highest recommendation from me, despite leaving me with feelings of unease and dissatisfaction. It’s not perfect, but it’s playable in one sitting and entirely accomplishes everything it sets out to do. It’s the best kind of video game.