These games and awards were decided during the Ward Podcast’s Best Games Played 2016 episode, where we considered any and all games played by the members of the Ward Podcast in 2016, even if they weren’t released that calendar year.
Inside looks, plays, and feels like a game that took six years to make.
Every puzzle, every set piece, every situation feels like the product of careful and iterative design from six years of refinement. In a popular, possibly pejorative turn of phase, Playdead has made a better Limbo.
When we say direction, we mean it every meaning of the term. Inside has one of the most resolute visions of any video game. Its art direction is impeccable, using 3D models with stark, low poly lighting and desaturated color that portrays the dread of its broken world. The gameplay and interaction design is stunning, creating well thought-out puzzles mixed with environmental visual cues that ensure any puzzle solution is far enough out of reach to make you think, but never far enough to frustrate you.
The back third of the game may stretch your brain in its narrative choices, but overall, Inside is a tiny, neatly dressed package that’s worth your time.