Best of 2016: Inside, Video Game By Playdead


I’m new to video games, but I’m not new to dreams, particularly those of fleeing, surreal landscapes, and omnipresent peril. Inside is a video game that calls forth those dreams with staggering, breathtaking visuals. You sometime play it like a film: watching the scenes unfold, waiting for the next plot twist, relishing the mystery, and gasping at reveals.

You begin as a young boy traversing a dangerous landscape riddled with terrifying monsters, both painfully real and startlingly fantastic. Your tired body trudges under water, through mazes of laboratories and factories, and across battlefields—barely escaping the grasp of treacherous powers.

The setting is post apocalyptic though could also resemble the darker corners of our world that we would rather pretend didn’t exist. There are puzzles to solve, most of which are fairly simple, with the occasional head-scratcher that takes an extra minute to think through. It is primarily an experience, and it tells a fascinating and mysterious story of death, oppressed bodies, rebirth, and the perilous search for freedom.

More than a game, Inside is an exquisitely crafted dream. It indeed creeps inside you, activating your mind while awakening your body to surprising, unpredictable sensations.


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