Parents' Guide to

In Between

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Puzzling, annoying look at life, loss from one man's eyes.

Game Mac , Windows , Xbox One 2015
In Between Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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This puzzle game attempts to address a number of philosophical questions humans struggle with, but the real problem here is that you spend more time struggling with frustrating gameplay. There are times in life when all of us question why we're here and what's led us to this particular moment. There are also times when we're faced with our own mortality. In Between tries to address these deep emotional and philosophical issues within the framework of a puzzle, as the narrator uses his final days to unlock his memories and overcome the obstacles he has built in his own mind. The style of the game, complete with visuals that look like they've come to life from a hand-painted canvas, combines with the tranquil but somewhat ominous soundtrack to create an eerie feel that lends an extra level of weight to the already heavy subject matter. It's a beautiful, yet haunting, feeling right from the start.

While the style of In Between evokes one set of feelings, the actual gameplay evokes a completely different set of feelings: frustration and irritation. The controls are simple enough to use, moving the character with one hand while controlling the direction of gravity with the other. But using those controls to navigate the puzzles can take superhuman levels of patience. For starters, there's no actual tutorial, even in the "Tutorial" stages. You have to learn everything through trial and error. The slightest misstep and you're forced to reset the stage and start over. The learning curve isn't just steep -- it makes Mt. Everest seem like a stepping stone. In Between is a game that has to be played in smaller doses. Doing any more than that, you can't help but lose sight of the game's overall message and beauty due to simple annoyance with trying to progress to the next stage.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows , Xbox One
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Gentlymad
  • Release date: August 21, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy Violence
  • Last updated: January 14, 2022

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