Gameplay[ edit ] Inside is a puzzle platformer. The player character is an unnamed boy who explores a surreal environment presented as a monochromatic 2. The game is dark, with color used sparingly to highlight parts of the environment, and mostly silent, with occasional musical cues.
The player controls the boy who walks, runs, swims, climbs, and uses objects to overcome obstacles and progress in the game. If all the orbs are deactivated during a playthrough, the player unlocks the game's alternate ending. As in the predecessor game Limbo, these deaths are presented realistically and are often graphic. If the character dies, the game continues from the most recent checkpoint. While running through a forest, he encounters masked guards with flashlights, as well as vehicles with mounted spotlights, and fierce guard dogs.
He escapes the guards, then crosses a road where a block has been set up with more vehicles and guards, to a farm where parasitic worms cause pigs to run rampant. The boy uses the farm animals and equipment to escape to a seemingly-abandoned city where lines of zombie-like people are moved through mind control.
Beyond the city is a large factory of flooded rooms, a shock wave atrium, and a laboratory environment where scientists perform underwater experiments on bodies. The boy eventually comes across an underwater siren-like creature that attaches a device to him, allowing him to breathe underwater.
Continuing through the office and laboratories, the boy sees scientists observing a large spherical chamber. The boy enters the chamber and discovers a large blob-like creature, the Huddle,  made of humanoid limbs connected to four control rods. After disconnecting the rods, the boy is pulled into the Huddle.
The scientists trap the Huddle in another tank, but the Huddle escapes again and breaks through a wooden wall. It rolls down a forest hill and comes to a stop at a grassy coastline bathed in light. Alternate ending[ edit ] If the player deactivated the hidden light orbs in the various bunkers, the boy returns to one of the bunkers and gains access to a new area. He reaches an area that includes a bank of computers and one of the mind-control helmets, powered by a nearby socket.
The boy pulls the plug from the socket, upon which the character takes the same stance as the zombies, and the game ends moments later. One theory speculates that the boy is controlled by the Huddle throughout most of the game, leading him to help free the Huddle from containment. In this theory, the scientists put the boy through many dangers to gain strength and intelligence, so that these qualities can be absorbed by the Huddle when the boy frees it, improving the creature in a desirable manner for these scientists.
Matulef summarizes this theory as "the boy is being controlled by a renegade force represented by the player". With knowledge of the game's true ending, achieving the alternate ending is to reach a conclusion to the game that "ostensibly puts an end to the boy, the blob, and any inhumane experiments being conducted". In March , Playdead released the source code under an open source license.
The art helped animate the Huddle and drive Inside's art direction. This model uses a body simulation of the core of the Huddle, driven by a network of impulses based on the direction of the player and the local environment, which allowed the Huddle to reconfigure itself as it needed in certain situations, such as fitting into tight spaces. Andersen was inspired by s B horror films , often using synthesizers , but did not want to compose an actual soundtrack. Instead, he created the music by routing sound through a human skull and recording the result, a " bone-conducting sound" that created a "sombre, chill quality" that often complements Inside's visuals.
This required Andersen to work more closely with the gameplay developers than he had in Limbo. This enabled additional visual elements tied to the audio; Andersen noted that the boy's chest movements related to breathing are tied to the sound effects he created for his breathing, which themselves are influenced by where the character is in the game, with differences being calm and panicked emotions depending on location.