Infinite Inside Review

Infinite Inside is a game experience that is overwhelming and atmospheric. This Mixed Reality/VR title is an environmental puzzler that brings the environmental puzzles into your home, and its thoughtful, mysterious world is the perfect setting for an intriguing adventure through space and time.

Depending on where you play, Infinite Inside becomes something of a different experience. If you’re lucky enough to be playing on an Apple Vision Pro, or the latest of the Meta Quest family of headsets (I predominantly played the game on Quest 3), you can experience the game directly in your home by utilising the passthrough features that allow you to see the world around you. PSVR 2 and SteamVR players meanwhile will have to settle for a fully VR experience, though the fundamental puzzling that lies at the heart of the game remains exactly the same.

While Infinite Inside can be played stationary, this is a game that really benefits from a room scale setting, though thankfully you won’t really need that much space overall to get the most out of it. A briefcase appears on the floor of your room, and from it springs a monolithic stone structure, the Plinth, replete with drawers, doors, and open sections that allow you to see the consistently changing world within.

This monolith is the literal centre of Infinite Inside, and walking around it in real time gives it a remarkable sense of weight and realism. The draws, easily grasped and opened by their handles, feel like they’re genuinely there, and have the high-class feel of an expensive kitchen drawer or cabinet. Whatever your cutlery draw is like, it probably doesn’t house the kinds of conundrums you soon find yourself involved in. Unless a spatula has wedged itself at a strange angle, that is.

There is a man. I came to call him Tiny Little Man, and latterly Humfrey, but at times, he’s not tiny, he’s the same size as you. His statue becomes a key to shifting between the real world and the internal world of the Plinth, and once inside it, you see the spectre of the Tiny Little Man exploring it in much the same way you are. Sometimes he leads you in the right direction, or teaches you how to interact with something, while at others he seems lost, bereft with his seeming incarceration within this shifting tower. At times he lurks near the edge of the abyss, and I genuinely worried just what might befall him. I forgot to worry about myself.

Much of the puzzling, both within and without the tower, revolves around collecting parts of an object and then putting them together in the right way. At first this is a simple, straightforward object that’s been split into pieces, but soon they balloon to take in more parts, and in more complicated configurations. It’s very reminiscent of Cubism, which has been a highlight of the Quest library for a long time, but which the Meta Quest 3’s improved passthrough has made the most of in recent months.

Infinite Inside is a much more extensive experience than that though, and shifting between the real world and the Escher-esque landscape inside never ceases to impress. The enigmatic and moving soundtrack from Steven Coltart certainly helps, its plaintive tones echoing through both the real world and the fictional one, but the visuals create a real sense of place and height, so much so that at points I felt the effects of vertigo take hold. There are similarities to areas we’ve seen before in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, sharing in a taste for shifting stones and enigmatic tower structures, but this is a new level of solidity for VR and Mixed Reality.

Infinite Inside plinth puzzle in full VR

There’s an overarching narrative that Humfrey is embroiled in, but details in the world – a record player, a pot of tea, or a radio that never seems to quite be tuned to a station – help you to build a picture of just what’s going on here. It’s thoroughly intriguing, though at various points I wished that these elements were a little more interactive.

While you walk around the external monolith, inside you use an open palm gesture to grasp a ball of light that teleports you to the next one, and if anything, this is the most frustrating part of the entire game. It’s probably harder to replicate the required gesture with a controller in your hand for a start, but the game didn’t always immediately realise what you are trying to do. Equally, there are points where you can see a more distant teleport point, but you can’t leap to that one straight away, occasionally slowing the pace for very little reason. Here’s hoping a little tweak can be made here.

Summary
Infinite Inside is an enchanting mixed reality puzzle game, and one which merges the real world and the virtual in stunning, evocative fashion.
Good
  • Amazingly solid world
  • Beautiful soundtrack
  • Intriguing puzzles
Bad
  • Teleportation isn't always immediate
9
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.

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