Inmates is a psychological horror game developed by Davit Andeasyan and published by Iceberg Interactive. Before I played it, I had high hopes. It looked interesting and pretty scary which can be hard to find in a horror game. I mean I wouldn’t want to wander around an old, dirty prison that had people with glowing eyes and shaking heads lurking around.
Inmates was not at all what I was expecting. You wake up in a prison and wonder if you’re dreaming and if you’re not you need figure out how to get out. Along the way you find crazy rooms with puzzles that you must solve to progress. The story was a well put together window into the main character’s struggles. It moved you through a story rather than being a “run and hide” type of game like I thought the majority of it would be. It only takes about 3-4 hours to finish but it is definitely worth it for the price.
How Inmates was styled reminded me a lot of Silent Hill 4. The color pallet is made up of dull hues which give everything almost a dusty, antique look. Rooms were cluttered and sometimes bizarre. In some areas there were odd markings on the walls and interesting choices of décor. I loved that not every room you went into was the same. The graphics are not the best but the slight lack of realism didn’t take away from the overall game.
With a little more rattling sounds, scratches, or knocks Inmates would have been a lot creepier. The reason I didn’t feel as anxious as I have in other games, is because the audio was lacking. If there was a simple music score that had a slight echo or distance, it would have made a huge difference. The voice acting could have also been a bit better. It reminded me of a B movie and got corny at times but I kind of enjoyed it and thought gave a little more character to the game.
The controls and overall gameplay were a bit finicky. Sometimes if something wasn’t observed or picked up it would cause you to turn around and play dialogue over again until the item was found. Without this, I feel the game would be more challenging and make players panic when those items were not obtained. Opening doors or activating items was also a challenge at times. There were minor bugs here and there but nothing major that couldn’t be fixed after restarting the game.
Overall I feel like this game is definitely worth the buy. The story was great and the puzzles were not super challenging but enough to make you think. However, if you are not a fan of indie games this might not be for you. With a few minor changes and maybe an expansion of the story it could be a challenging and truly terrifying psychological horror.