After freeing the flute noses at the conclusion of The Inner World, Robert, Laura, and Peck (the pigeon) must bring down the spreading hatred toward them and their people.
The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk's story starts with Robert and friends dealing with the consequences of their actions in the first game. The world of Asposia is filled with Conroyalists who blindly follow the hateful teachings of Conroy, the man that imprisoned Robert during his childhood to stop him from gaining his right to the throne. Conroy spreads fear and hostility towards those with flute noses and perpetuates the myth that the flute-nosed people are to blame for the stopping of the life-giving wind (when in fact, Conroy is indeed to blame). Throughout The Last Wind Monk, Robert is constantly egged on by his friend Laura to pick himself up, save his people, and ascend to the throne. Robert is such a meek and gentle little guy that even his pigeon friend Peck shows more spunk. His personality is just as delightful and charming as in the first title and the strong-willed Laura truly believes in his hidden ability to lead, even when she seems overly harsh.
This second adventure in the series is a similar length to the first and features the same art style and gameplay. It's essentially an extension of The Inner World's story with just as much charm and satisfying logic puzzles. The only difference I noticed was that there are now many more opportunities to swap between who you want to play as. In some parts of the campaign, you only have one character available but in other parts, you can alternate between all three. Laura and Peck also have their own traits although they aren't used in the gameplay as much as I would have liked. Laura is stronger than Robert and can pick up heavier items and Peck can fly so he can prod and pick up items that are otherwise unreachable. The first title had a few rare moments where you could swap so starting out with this choice here is a nice addition and helps freshen things up a little.
The 2D point-and-click controls are still not suited well to console, unfortunately. I often found myself walking up to a door and expecting to go through it but then realised I had to bring up the navigation and scroll through my options in order to move. This can get cumbersome and is a constant reminder that the gameplay wasn't initially designed for console. It's also not obvious if something is interactive unless you've been playing for a while in a continuous stretch. I found myself staring at a poster of cacti and reading a hint that named them while thinking, "How am I supposed to know their names?!" I eventually realised that I had to push R1 to make the screen interactive and it then showed the names as I selected the various images on the poster.
The puzzles are mostly satisfying and follow a similar line of logic to the first title. You will usually be faced with a bunch of items and have an inkling about how to use them to progress. It will regularly require a little smarts to figure out or you can use the awesome hint system. Thankfully, they didn't change this in the sequel and I still stand behind my statement in my previous review that it is hands-down the best hint system implementation in any game I've ever played. The hints start out very vague and try to slowly lead you to the next thing that you have to accomplish and how to do it without outright telling you. That is, unless you go through all of the hints at which point, it will tell you step-by-step exactly what to do.
Unfortunately, there was one moment where even the hint system didn't help me accomplish my task. I was supposed to count the knocks that someone was making on the other side of a wall and tell them the number. This had to be done three times in a row with each guess being correct. I struggled with this silly game for over half an hour. Something that would have taken a minute if I'd got it right first try. There was no explanation as to what constituted as a knock as you try to discern sounds from other sounds going on simultaneously. I tried many different strategies and I think I ended up beating it out of blind luck more than anything. I had a one in six chance each try so I must be pretty lucky! As a side note, I doubt anyone who is hard of hearing could ever solve this puzzle...
The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk's charming characters and graphics are spectacular and it features one interesting and deep story. It's a bit disappointing that the console controls weren't improved but this is still a must-buy game for point 'n' click adventure fans.
- + Interesting extension to the original story
- + More chances to play as different characters
- + Puzzles and hint system are still just as satisfying
- - No significant improvements over the first
- - Console controls are cumbersome
- - One seemingly buggy puzzle was frustrating to figure out