A year and a half removed from its original release on Xbox One, I am prepared to say that Inside is one of my favorite games ever. I universally recommend it to everyone, even if you‘ve never played a video game in your life. It’s a great example of the kind of experiences the medium is capable of delivering and is absolutely gorgeous. Its release on iOS is good news because it means my universal recommendation can now be delivered nearly universally. If you have an iPhone, you can experience Playdead’s masterpiece. That’s great news, but the mobile platform is not ideal for platformers, or any type of game where you control the movements of a character in an action setting, which begs the question: How is Inside on iOS?

The short answer is it’s pretty good, but this is far from the best way to play. Inside’s focus is atmosphere above all else, and that element translates perfectly to iOS. With headphones, Inside’s impeccable sound design comes through flawlessly, and its visuals and animation have not been scaled back in any way for mobile. It looks just as good here as it does on every platform – maybe even superior, considering your iOS screen may be better than your television or computer monitor. Playing with headphones in bed in a dark room, I found my pulse quickening the same way it did when I played it on a television.

Inside’s controls do not translate as well as the atmosphere, sound, and visuals, but I didn’t run into too many frustrations. You can hold your phone like a controller, with a thumb on each side of the screen, or you can play with one thumb surprisingly well. You control the boy with an invisible d-pad, sliding your thumb in cardinal directions to move him. Sharp slides upward make him jump, and tapping and holding the screen makes the boy interact with objects and switches.

Inside is not about precise platforming, so the loose controls on iOS were generally not a problem, but I did struggle on a few occasions. Dealing with the creature in the water was more difficult this time around, and the final puzzle where you have to throw the flaming box took more tries than I would have liked. I knew the solutions to these puzzles, so I worry that newcomers, who have to fight controls and figure out the puzzle solutions, might get too frustrated, but it’s difficult to say. In the end, I was able to get through the game, find all the hidden lamps, and unlock the alternate ending and I only missed holding a controller a few times.

My biggest knock against Inside on mobile is an issue that nearly every mobile game has to deal with, but it is more pronounced here because Inside is such a visually arresting game: Covering up any element of the screen with your thumb does a disservice to Inside’s immaculate visual language, and I hated seeing my poorly manicured nail create a big blind spot as I ran from dogs, hid from flashlights, or explored the mysterious underwater laboratory.

The iOS version is not the ideal way to experience Inside, but if this is your only avenue, then by all means, please play it. Having a controller improves the experience, but if you don’t know what you’re missing, the important elements of Inside come through even on a small screen. Just make sure to wear headphones and turn on airplane mode while you play.

To read our impressions of the mobile version of Playdead’s previous game, Limbo, head here.