The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk PlayStation 4 Review

If you enjoyed The Inner World, it is highly likely you will enjoy The Last Wind Monk.

By RON, Posted 27 Nov 2017

After the defeat of an evil, iron fisted dictator, a follower tries to assure his return to power using a whole group of people as scapegoats. The new ruling power starts a manhunt against these people and incarcerates them in a, somewhat genocidal, attempt to get rid of them. That is not the plot for an upcoming WWII movie, but the actual plot of the follow-up game for charming indie adventure title The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk (not to be confused with the Last Air Bender, although some inspiration in the name can be drawn.)

The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk PlayStation 4 Review

The story revolves around Robert, Peck and Laura and their effort to liberate Asporia from the tyranny of Emil, a man advocating for the return of Conroy, the person you defeated in the first game, and the prosecution of the flute nose people. It’s been three years since Conroy’s defeat and, now, the collective memory of the event is being manipulated by Emil, who is convinced that the Wind Gods incident was the flute noses’ fault. It is up to the trio to prevent this mass genocide and, again, defeat the misguided and overly powerful person in control.

The sequel upholds the sinister visual aesthetics that proved to be so effective in its predecessor. Although, to be honest, it is sometimes quite disturbing to find oneself upon such a significant contrast. In a sense, it creates an atmosphere reminiscing of the post-war era cartoons in Western Europe; charming characters and weird drawings soaked in a gloomy ambience with a highly political subtext. Even some of the visual aesthetics of Conroy’s followers are somehow reminiscent of Nazi iconography. 

The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk PlayStation 4 Review

There is another unsettling point regarding this sequel, and this is strictly from a narrative perspective: the game undoes the victory achieved during the first game in order to set in motion the story of the second instalment. This is a common trope in a lot of sequels, but that does not make it ok, on the contrary, it is expected from a sequel to build upon what was built in a previous title, not to create a setback for the characters and make the victory in the first game less important.

But there’s a silver lining, in terms of narrative, too, in the fact that you can play as three different characters. Although this trilateral narrative doesn’t kick in from the very beginning, some puzzles do require switching between playable characters, which may be in the same screen or even in different areas, as they have to perform an action specific to their abilities. That is a truly refreshing addition to the genre. The game is not limited only to simple point-and-click and contextual menus anymore, requiring actual collaboration between characters, narrative and environment, which amounts to a better and bigger payoff upon resolution.

The puzzles are one of the best parts of the game. While the story may not be the greatest ever told,  the puzzles do feel well thought and well crafted, are mostly organic and hard enough to provide satisfaction and accomplishment when finishing them, but not so difficult that they become utterly frustrating. This, of course, has some exceptions and makes some puzzles feel like a bit of a stretch. What are supposed to be simple and elegant solutions do sometimes become convoluted and even overly complicated exercises of imagination that will inevitably lead you to a gaming guide.

The Inner World - The Last Wind Monk PlayStation 4 Review

If you enjoyed The Inner World, it is highly likely you will enjoy The Last Wind Monk. It is a consistent sequel and a fine new addition to the series despite its flaws. The game is charming enough to capture your attention visually and in terms of gameplay, but ultimately fails in providing a truly engaging experience in the end. This, however, is not an impediment enjoying the game. The puzzles are actually very interesting and funny to solve and the game itself feels fluid and capable of providing several hours of fun. The game may not be a staple of the genre, but it is something worth checking out if you are a fan of point and click adventure games. So go back to the colourful and yet depressing world of Asporia and save it from the claws of tyranny and racism in The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk. Available now on PlayStation 4.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Kalypso Media, Headup Games
Developer(s): Studio Fizbin
Genres: Point And Click
Themes: Adventure
Release Date: 2017-10-24

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