Parents' Guide to

The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk

By David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Kid-friendly adventure series gets bleaker, harder.

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Point-and-click adventure games aren't seen as frequently as they once were, and this title is super-approachable for younger players but still far from perfect. Right out of the gate, the most searing disappointment in The Inner World -- The Last Wind Monk is that it, unlike its charming 2013 predecessor, is markedly bleaker and much harder. Point-and-click games are infamous for their unclear puzzles and insistence that you pick up every object possible, including tiny pixel-sized ones like thumb tacks and chewing gum, and The Last Wind Monk is no exception. If you're a purist, you can walk around in the dark and try every imaginable combination of inventory at every possible opportunity, or you can forgo those frustrations and take advantage of a variable hint system that can scale from a light hint to a heavy suggestion at every juncture. This is also arguably less necessary due to one of the game's better moves: The characters on-screen are gigantic, making the environments that much easier to scan at a glance. Figuring out what to do, though, remains the most enduring challenge.

But this is always true of adventure games. Part of what makes The Last Wind Monk more miss than hit is its reliance on illogical puzzles -- ones that are so difficult, younger players are likely to get frustrated, and then perhaps agitated when resorting to walkthroughs online that reveal unreasonable solutions few would have arrived at on their own. (One puzzle that involves chasing a rat from a hole in a prison comes to mind.) Also, in this game you control two characters, and switching between them can be clunky when you want one of them to execute a specific task but simply forgot to click that character first to do it. These strikes against the game aside, it's interesting to see a mix of whimsy and timely themes. It's worth a go, but it needs a whole lot of patience and tempered expectations before you embark on the journey the game offers.

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