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From the Database of Home of the Underdogs




Copyright 2003, Jon Ingold

Insight is a superbly written sci-fi thriller by Jon Ingold, one of the most celebrated IF authors today. While certain plot devices in the game are reminiscent of Andrew Plotkin’s Spider and Web, Insight is far from being a “clone.” The setup is similar to Spider and Web, except that your role is reversed: you are now the interrogator, not the interrogated. Your job is to interrogate a scientist who is suspected of murdering his wife, to discover the truth.

Set in an indeterminate future, Insight is a tightly designed game that takes place in only two locations: the interrogation room, and the lab where the victim died. Similar to Spider and Web, you will likely have to replay most segments several times to uncover facts (the “save, do something, fail, restore, apply lesson learned” gameplay). The game even has an explanation for that, although it comes off as half-hearted and not wholly satisfying. But unlike Spider and Web, Insight doesn’t “rewind” the action whenever you find new information: you are free to travel back and forth between the lab and the interrogation room as often as you want, so the game feels more realistic and less of a ‘directed’ game than Spider and Web. Aside from solid writing that you can expect from Jon Ingold’s games, Insight is full of numerous plot twists, some of which make more sense than the rest, but all of which are at least interesting. Puzzles are fair – much easier than previous puzzle-fests from the same author (like The Mulldoon Legacy), and I like the balance between conversation-based puzzles (i.e. ask the suspect about the right things), and object-manipulation ones. All in all, fans of Spider and Web will likely enjoy Insight as well, although this game is not as clever. Highly recommended.

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