By Marty Mulrooney
The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk is a hand drawn 2D point-and-click adventure game developed by Studio Fizbin and published by Headup Games. The sequel to the award-winning adventure game The Inner World – which AMO described in its 2013 review as “the most pleasant surprise to come along within the adventure genre for a very long time indeed” – The Last Wind Monk continues the adventures of the flute-nose Robert, his best friend Laura and Peck the pigeon as they try to save the world of Asposia… again!
Those who played The Inner World will know exactly what to expect from this highly anticipated sequel. The first game embodied the word ‘charming’ and The Last Wind Monk is similarly sweet and endearing. The hand drawn graphics are enchanting and the music is full of wonder, making the world of Asposia a genuine pleasure to explore.
The game starts off with Robert trapped in stone (he has been like this for three years!) with the player taking control of Peck the pigeon to free him. This immediately makes this sequel stand out from its predecessor; eventually, players will end up juggling between Robert, Laura and Peck to solve the game’s many puzzles.
The storyline is kept pretty basic. Following the defeat of Conrad in the first game and Robert’s subsequent disappearance, a new villain has risen up from the ashes: Emil. The design of his character – along with the insignia of his group and their desire to round up and kill the flute-noses – draws subtle yet obvious comparisons with Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party, which is very interesting considering Studio Fizbin is based in Ludwigsburg, Germany.
However, such comparisons will likely go over the head of younger players and – despite the occasional swear word – this is still (for the most part) a family friendly adventure game. The initial goal, conveyed to Robert via a peculiar woman’s floating head, is simple: travel across Asposia via cable car to find the legendary last wind monk and defeat Emil!
Of course, the cable car is broken and Robert must fix it. The puzzles are great fun to solve and mostly adhere to sound logic, with only one or two head-scratchers that miss the mark. The included hint system is fairly robust, removing the need to seek out unofficial online walkthroughs, though some puzzles don’t translate perfectly from the original German language and are therefore perhaps a little harder than they should be.
I was lucky enough to play through the game on both PC and iPad; both versions of the game looked and sounded beautiful and controlled extremely well. This is a traditional point-and-click adventure game that makes use of a traditional inventory. The main new addition to the gameplay comes in the form of several songs that Robert can learn to play on his nose. These songs allow him to control the power of the wind and the puzzles that take advantage of this mechanic are highly satisfying to solve. Plus, Robert just looks super adorable as he sways to the rhythm of each tune with the wind swirling around him.
The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk is more of the same and that isn’t a bad thing in the slightest. Sometimes the speech bubbles don’t line up correctly. Other times, the subtitles don’t quite match the English voice acting (which is very good; speaking to the various supporting characters is a delight). Conroy – who only returns as a voice inside Robert’s head – is hilarious yet greatly underused. However, none of these complaints will be serious enough to ruin the fun for hardcore point-and-click adventure fans. While it may not have originality on its side like the first game, The Last Wind Monk is still one of the most charming and memorable adventure games of 2017.
8 OUT OF 10