The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Mobile)

The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk is a sequel to a cartoony point and click adventure I reviewed last year (played here on PS4).  In a subterranean world surrounded by dirt, the people of this land live on the inside of a sphere.  Around the sphere are wind holes that provide its citizens with air to breathe, and those holes are guarded by wind monks.  In the game you play as (mostly) Robert, a young man who was adopted by one of the wind monks.  This sequel takes place a couple of years after the first game.  After Robert defeated the villain and discovered his true identity, he finds a new adversary who wants to destroy all of Robert’s new family.  It’s up to Robert and his friends Laura and Peck the pidgeon to find the last Wind Monk and save the day again!

The game looks and plays pretty much like the last one.  You control Robert directly, and can press a button to bring up hotspots of items on screen that you can interact with.  Then you’ll get a picture cue allowing you to do things like examine an item, pick it up, use it, talk to someone, or combine an item with something else.  You can also bring up an inventory to do the same thing.

They’ve added a few improvements here and there.  The game is now split into six chapters which will take about 2 to 3 hours to complete each, so it’s a bit longer than the last game.  And in most chapters, you can switch to play as either Robert, Laura, or Peck the pigeon.  Although you’ll really only need to use Peck if you need to get something out of reach (since he can fly).

The problems that plagued the first game are still here, though.  The controls are a bit unconventional and frustrating at times, at least on the PS4 version.  And the puzzles aren’t very logical and intuitive, and they’re even more cryptic this time around.  Luckily there is a very extensive help system.  I had to use it a lot, but at the end of the game, it still let me get the ‘no hints’ trophy.  I don’t know if that’s a bug or if they intentionally did that since the game would be impossible without hints.  Honestly, I would’ve stopped playing because of these problems, but the charming visuals, interesting story, and excellent voice work kept me reeled in enough to put up with the quibbles.  Even though they try to explain what happened in the first game, it’s helpful if you play that before starting the sequel, though.

Kid Factor:

The Last Wind Monk is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Language, Mild Cartoon Violence, and Use of Alcohol.  They do say ‘damn’ a few times, and one of the puzzles involves alcohol, but you don’t drink it.  You only need it to prove you’re an adult.  But the game also touches on serious themes like religion and politics, as well as activities like sacrifices and executions, so I think it’s better suited to teens and older gamers anyway.

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