InnerSpace

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
InnerSpace Game Poster Image
Pretty exploration game restrained by subtle, aimless play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Patience, collaboration, helping one another are major themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You mainly interact with robots who are sentient and encouraging but just provide plot points to you; they don't really open up much about themselves.

Ease of Play

Easy to hop into, but as you press on, game's subtlety proves to be its biggest obstacle in determining where to go, what you should do next.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that InnerSpace is a downloadable exploration game available for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. It takes place in a world of inside-out planets without horizons. Your main objective is to fly around and collect various items and artifacts, without any combat whatsoever. The sheer and vast open-ended nature of this title can be frustrating, as younger players may get lost and want to give up rather than persist and discover something they missed before. There's no objectionable content to be found in the game.

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What's it about?

INNERSPACE is an exploration game set in the Inverse, a world of inside-out planets without horizons. Players will soar through ancient skies and abandoned oceans to discover the lost history of this fading realm where gods still wander. You'll uncover many mysteries as you drift from one sphere to the next and then back, while also unraveling how they're all connected and why.

Is it any good?

It's always commendable to see a game try to do something other than combat, emphasizing exploration instead, but unfortunately, this one may be too subtle and aimless to keep your attention. InnerSpace has stunning visuals and pretty landscapes for you to traverse -- this can't be overstated, as you're literally poking around the skies and seas of each land you visit -- but it's much less forward on telling you what to do. After a very patient tutorial, you're set loose in the first world and essentially told to find out what you can do, and then do it. But why and how are less clear, and remain this way for the rest of the game. You can crash through certain textures to explore what's inside a structure, use your wings to snag and clip long threads to see what reaction that causes, or just buzz around from place to place. That's what you'll be doing for the entire game. 

Eventually, it becomes clear that you're meant to collect scattered orbs that function as a sort of currency to unlock and install relics and various pickups that unlock new airframes for your flights. Doing this will naturally take you through to the end of the game, but your mood will likely shift from soothed by the visuals to frustrated by your lack of progress and wondering if you're even in the right general territory. It's a fun game to play in short bursts, but if you're motivated to see the entire thing through, you'll spend a lot of time flying around aimlessly, hoping you find something you missed previously. That's not enough to say you're better off avoiding this game, but it's not a ringing endorsement, either. But if you're looking for something to just chill and play without expectations, this one will definitely lower your heart rate.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about games that make a point of not including violence. Why are these seemingly in the minority? Do you think they actually are? Why do you think that might be the case? 

  • Persistence is an admirable trait but can also sometimes be one's downfall. How do you learn that balance in life, and how can you recognize when others are struggling with it? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love exploration

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