The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk Game Poster Image
Kid-friendly adventure series gets bleaker, harder.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lots to say about discrimination, acceptance, fascism, willful ignorance; is savvy enough to cover these topics with a lighter touch and humor. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Not a simple black-and-white world, though there are clear villains who, in fairness, would benefit from being painted in as much light as other characters in game. 

Ease of Play

Comprehensive hint system that'll help genre newbies and younger players find their way through puzzles.

Violence

Brief references to murder in dialogue, one sequence where a character gets struck repeatedly by darts.

Sex
Language

"Ass," "bastard" appear in dialogue.

Consumerism

Players might become curious about predecessor, want to purchase it.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One scene shows a drunk guard holding a bottle of alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Inner World --The Last Wind Monk is a downloadable point-and-click adventure game. That means rather than using a joystick to run all over environments and mashing buttons to interact with the world, you patiently click and investigate items and topics in conversations with others, and also solve lots of puzzles by combining inventory items. There are brief references to murder and a sequence where a character gets hit by darts, which is played for laughs. One scene depicts a drunk guard holding a bottle of alcohol. Although the game is otherwise very kid-friendly, the words "ass" and "bastard" appear in dialogue.

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What's it about?

In THE INNER WORLD -- THE LAST WIND MONK, players solve mind-bending puzzles in a world full of mystery and are tasked with saving the family of the flute-noses. Their dynasty has been watching over Asposia for centuries and in secret, they fill the roly-poly world with light and life. But when their existence is discovered, they become hunted. Emil, a trader for odds and ends, has made all the Asposians believe that the dynasty is in cahoots with dark forces. The only one who can stop the evil Emil is Robert, the heir to the throne. The only problem is that Robert has been petrified in stone for three years. Can you save Robert and the Asposians?

Is it any good?

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about dystopian settings in narrative arts. Why is this such a popular backdrop for movies, books, TV, and video games? What does that say about us and our culture and our expectation of art? 

  • The game features many characters who are guilty of being willfully ignorant, and justify why they needn't get involved in turning the tide of an oppressive new regime. How removed from reality do you think this sort of behavior is? Why do people act that way? Where have you read or heard about anything remotely like this? How do you think you would behave when confronted with it yourself? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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