Infinite Inside Review: Crossing The Lines Between Mixed and Virtual Realities

Mixed reality titles are beginning to find their footing and one of the newest releases in that genre, Infinite Inside, has piqued our interest. Read on for our full review.

A few months ago, I played the demo for the game from App Lab and was impressed at the expansive potential this title could bring. Now that I’ve had a chance to explore the full release, it’s time to dissect just how well Infinite Inside holds up against that potential when looking at factors such as gameplay, graphics & sound quality, control scheme, and comfort options.

Infinite Inside – The Facts

What is it: An innovative puzzle game that seamlessly blends VR and MR gameplay with an immersive narrative experience.
Platforms: Apple Vision Pro, Quest, Pico with VR/MR – Steam & PSVR 2 is VR only
Release Date: July 12, 2024
Developer: Maze Theory 
Price: $12.99 (free if you played the App Lab demo – details here)

Gameplay: An Intricate Dance of Realities 

At its core, Infinite Inside is a first-person adventure that delicately dances between our real-world living spaces and a maze-filled virtual reality. The heart of Infinite Inside’s gameplay remains centered on navigating its intricate labyrinths and searching for lost puzzle pieces while a silent narrative unfolds, seamlessly blurring the lines of virtual and mixed reality.



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One of the game’s interesting inclusions is its multifaceted 3D puzzles. Solving these challenges demands both spatial acuity and logic, offering a difficulty curve that feels well-designed and thought out. This attention to detail ensures that the puzzles are tough but not a friction point.

Collecting puzzle pieces in the virtual realm and then returning them to be manipulated in your own living space is a fresh take and one that we are just now starting to see in other titles like ASTRA, another great mixed reality experience that has players beaming down to planets to collect elements that they then bring back to their ship for analysis.



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Another interesting aspect of the gameplay in The Infinite Inside is the silent narrative being crafted around you. The game relies on the subtle blending of on-screen text and pantomime elements to tell a story that is revealed as the player solves puzzles and gains needed keys that unlock additional chapters. Infinite Inside skillfully combines all these elements into an experience that feels both challenging and satisfying.

Graphics and Sound: A Feast for the Senses 

Maze Theory has crafted richly detailed environments in the Infinite Inside, with high-quality textures and lighting that enhance the immersive feel. The level of artistry on display here is commendable, and the attention to the smallest details doesn’t go unnoticed.

Mixed Reality – Virtual Reality

While it looks good in both its Mixed and Virtual Reality modes, Infinite Inside could be a true stunner if it took advantage of the additional horsepower that headsets like Quest 3 offer. It’s immediately apparent when playing on Quest 3 that its beautiful graphics are being impacted by some serious aliasing. This game has some hard angles as part of its architecture and a lot of contrast between light and dark areas, so the aliasing really shows through in most scenes. Our review was done on Quest 3 but your results may vary on other headsets.

I reached out to Ian Hambleton, CEO of Maze Theory, to ask about this. He informed me that while the game won’t be optimized to fully take advantage of the additional graphics power the Quest 3 offers at launch, Maze Theory is looking into the possibilities of this in a potential post-launch Quest 3-only update. Hambleton also said this would be heavily dependent on testing.

With Infinite Inside’s art style, the game adopts a semi-realistic look that fits somewhere between realism and surrealism. The game’s overall look complements its narrative, and the use of good lighting and shadows also helps to create its immersive atmosphere. That further enhances the magical feeling as you transition between mixed and virtual realities.

Infinite Inside’s visual fidelity impresses and its sound design also deserves a mention. The use of ambient sounds and a relaxed musical score contribute significantly to the immersive experience Infinite Inside provides.

Control Scheme and Comfort: Mixed Blessings 

As for comfort, Infinite Inside nails it for VR beginners during its virtual reality sequences by mitigating motion sickness through node-based teleportation. While node-based teleportation is great for individuals prone to VR sickness, it doesn’t cater to more advanced players like myself who prefer traditional unrestricted methods of locomotion while playing in VR.



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Maze Theory said they tested artificial stick-based locomotion but “it lost a lot of the magic.” Hambleton added they “may even introduce a move counter, so players need to complete this in the least moves.”



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One thing that’s improved in the full release compared to the demo is object interaction. Though it’s still somewhat finicky at times in the launch build, when playing the demo, occasionally, my in-game hands would fail to grasp puzzle pieces or just start to fly away. This seems to be much improved now, and I saw very little glitching of the hands during my review playthrough.

Conclusion 

Infinite Inside is a great addition to the growing number of new mixed reality experiences we’ve been seeing lately. It features complex mazes and satisfying puzzles that rarely feel too difficult or too easy, and it’s all delivered with smooth transitions between VR and MR elements. The sometimes-temperamental object handling could do with just a bit more refinement, but Maze Theory’s ambition meets compelling execution here, and it’s one I think most puzzling fans will enjoy.

UploadVR uses a 5-Star rating system for our game reviews – you can read a breakdown of each star rating in our review guidelines.

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