It's probably worth going back through this week to see what you may have missed, because I have certainly missed some that should be to your taste in this week's Pocket Dimension.
Unsurprisingly, given my fascination with exploration games, many of those I have picked out are about scrutinizing and testing strange spaces. The "Insides Out" title refers to how many of them involve a surface bursting out of its framing (literally in one game), or in some cases, a substance (like tears or rain) coming out of an object.
It's tentative at best, sure, but who doesn't enjoy trying to bunch things together under an umbrella term; it's human nature, apparently.
Why play it? This unscientific model of the world's tiniest ecosystems is the setting for an "endless devourer". You eat to grow, forever. It's possible to become kilometers in size.
Wonderful moments can be had when finding familiar formations in tiny spirals you once fitted inside, letting you compare your present size to what it was in the past. But as big as you are, you're always dwarfed by larger organisms. Miopia has a fantastic sense of scale in its squirming cartoon spaces.
Download here (Windows)
Why play it? Your aim is to investigate the Pink Zone as a scout, finding out how your homeland has changed since you left it. What's hostile? What's friendly? What's edible?
Any method you intend to follow is soon thrown out in favor of sporadic exploration. Experimentation begets discoveries, such as when falling into dark spaces and learning of your other physical form. There are small cultures to get familiar with, peculiar creatures to be civil with, and indigenous bugs to chase around like an excited child.
It's totally worth travelling up to the Orbital Heart Ship and activating a power to bring back down to the Pink Zone, too.
Always jubilant and playful, Pink Zone almost feels like Proteus if it were a bustling alien landscape.
Play here (Browser)
Why play it? Imagine jumping into an expressionist painting just like how Mary, Bert, and the children do in that scene in Mary Poppins. Except the painting jumps inside you.
In this peculiar and enormous gallery the white walls and ceilings are suddenly overtaken by the erractic geometry and shocking colors of the paintings you gaze at. Meanwhile, sounds scratch at your ear drums, playing on a loop. Deformed clowns and tireless creatures also patrol the painting's interior, only slightly entertained by your intrusion, unless you dare to get closer...
What you'll soon discover is that each painting holds a new surprise, and that easily becomes the reason to keep on playing. Some are delightful, thrilling even, while others are more unsettling and may not be entirely escaped.
Download on Game Jolt (Windows)
Why play it? Ocean Drive never remains as the game you think it is.
It's about caring for a loved one, but flits between memories of the past and the present. It feels a little like To The Moon for that reason, especially so with it being about life, love, and death.
It's touching and relatable while being quite poetic in form. How it all unfolds is quite brilliant, actually -- constantly keeping you chasing answers.
Download on itch.io (Windows)
Why play it? You really feel like a cloud with its myriad abilities. You're able to soak up water, rain droplets, and pass through frost flowers to create snow.
The idea is to enact the four elemental forms to light up the corresponding pillars. The puzzles are a little obtuse but it only means that you'll spend longer around these pleasant sky islands, and that's no bad thing.
Play here (Browser)
Download here (Windows)
Why play it? Snare rolls clash and collide with screen tears and graphic glitches, dancing together, becoming an unstoppable parade of chaos.
There are a number of hissing cubes to collect on and around the symbolic crosses and pyramids. Every time you collect one the distortion gets worse (or better, depending on how you look at it).
It's a fantastic near-sychronisation of visuals and audio with a game hiding somewhere behind the noise. It's only purpose is to become increasingly obscured; a kind of videogame-themed gallows humor, almost.
Note: Seizure warning.
Play / download on Game Jolt (Browser, Windows, Mac)
Why play it? Here's your reason: "tripgate" could be an alternative name for "warpdoor". You know, this website, the one you're reading right now.
OK, a better reason is it being a violently colorful first-exploration game that feels as if it was spawned from the 1990s of a kaleidoscopic dimension.
You seem to be on a puzzling alien planet of pink waterfalls and doom-red skies. Sometimes you'll navigate wide open spaces, or peaceful temples, other times you'll be lost in a winding maze. Mostly, you'll be among the pink creatures that bumble about, hunting down the titular tripgates that come in actual and fake forms. Prepare to be taken for a fool more than once.
There's also an incredible sense of wonder emitted by both the shimmering, tropical music and the blotchy pixels that shuffle constantly as you move. It gets you into a rhythm of exploring, going around in circles, and then you're snatched out of it as the ending arrives without warning and makes you question everything about this world.