The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk is a sequel to Studio Fizbin’s The Inner World. The Last Wind Monk brings the player back to Asposia, which is unfortunately not in much better shape than when Robert, Laura, and Peck saved it three years prior.
Unfortunately, after the events of the first game Robert was petrified while running away from his Kingly responsibilities. While he was a statue his people, the flute-noses, were being rounded up and imprisoned by ‘Conroyalists.’ The Conroyalists are a fascist-coded group who believe the flute-noses are villains who killed Conroy in cold blood and brought forth the menacing Basilyians from the wind fountains. Their leader, Emil, is determined to execute all of the flute-noses, dooming Asposia to a suffocating death.
Once he’s de-petrified, Robert must go on another quest to save Asposia, all the while facing his own personal demons. This time around, there are many puzzles of different kinds for him and his friends to solve as they disagree on the best way to save their world.
Doing a Sequel Right
This is an amazing follow up to the already enjoyable first game. The game has a number of improvements to improve the player experience. The player must frequently take control of Laura and Peck to help Robert with their unique skills. It creates a new depth to the game, where you must consider all of the characters and their strengths to solve the puzzles. The puzzles are even more in-depth and varied outside of the standard point and click fare. You might play some tunes on Robert’s flute-nose, or solve a matching game, keeping things interesting.
The Last Wind Monk also improves use of the Switch’s touch screen to improve the quality of life for the player. It isn’t a perfect functionality, and you can’t do everything from the touch screen. However, you can navigate to a new point much more easily than just scrolling through. This is especially helpful as levels are often large and jam packed with items to interact with.
The developers clearly took a look at what worked and what didn’t from The Inner World, and made clear, discrete steps to improve upon their first work. They took the great story elements and added game play experiences to flesh these elements out even more.
A Beautiful, Relevant Story
The world of Asposia is again beautifully crafted to be a dark and dreary land with dynamic characters to interact with. The xenophobia the flute-noses fall victim to is not a minor issue. The main characters often challenge the antagonists’ quickly grasped at beliefs that the flute-noses are evil, but to no avail.
However, Robert faces more than just fascist-coded enemies. He also battles his own anxiety and negative self-talk, which he hears as Conroy’s voice in his head. During his search for the last of the Wind Monks, Robert has to work to find the value in himself.
These themes are not unfamiliar to players today, and are handled well by the team at Studio Fizbin. These issues culminate in an excellent, twist-filled last act, with a satisfying ending.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: A review code for The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk was provided by Headup Games.