The most frightening thing about Jonathan’s nightmare is that he may not be dreaming…
You’ve awoken from a nightmare, Jonathan. But did it truly end? You are in a run-down
prison cell and have no clue how you got there. You’re terrified and confused, but you also
feel something else: a painful sense of familiarity.
You’ve convinced yourself this is all just a nightmare. Unfortunately, according to the voice
coming from the old radio, things are not as simple as you’d like them to be.
Discover the truth behind your predicament while trying to stay sane, in this most disturbing of horror games.
Published by Iceberg Interactive of the Netherlands, Inmate is a scary trip through the mind of a man named Jonathan after he wakes up in a mysterious prison, unaware of how he got there. You must traverse the dark, dreary jail and try to figure out why you are in it, how to get out, and what is going on as you explore and find eerie clues about where you are, and about the freaky other inmates that you encounter.
Inmates promises to set you in a suffocating atmosphere, and it certainly does deliver. Not only is it dark and difficult to see without the use of the matches you can find throughout the jail, but the sound provides that suffocating feeling. It cuts out, sounds like there is something wrong with your speakers because it gets so fuzzy. It threw me off at first, but once I realized that it was part of the game it became terrifying.
Matching the weird background noises is the way that you see the world through Jonathan’s eyes, especially in particularly confusing situations. The world can become blurry, and cause the writings on the cell walls to move around. Not only does this make the game unsettling, but it also helps bring a dreamlike feeling which reminds you that Jonathan is certain that he is in a nightmare.
I am a horror fanatic, whether it is video games or films, and I especially like psychological horror. I like to be confused by the surroundings and story, and have enough mystery to be willing to snoop around and inspect every corner, cell, and paper I come across. Inmates is the perfect title for this type of gameplay as there is something interesting or odd around every corner. I ended up keeping a notepad and pen next to me to write down anything that seemed to have a pattern, or appeared to be a list of sorts. It definitely came in handy whenever I encountered a puzzle. I enjoy puzzle and exploration driven horror games more than survival ones, so Inmates was the perfect game for me.
A small aspect of Inmates that added to the realism for me was the references used. Finding quotes from great minds such as Machiavelli and Rene Decartes, random Bible verses, and even a Stephen King reference or two drew me into the game because it put Jonathan in our world, rather than his own. And, honestly, that just added to the fear factor of the game. When you are looking through the eyes of Jonathan at a familiar quote, then turn around only to be startled by an inmate, it can really make your skin crawl.
Overall, Inmates is a great game filled with mystery that keeps you wondering, fear that keeps you on edge, and a story that keeps you captivated. The only downside to Inmates is the length, which is only around 4 hours. I got a little more than that because I spent so much time wandering and reading things I found, but still I wish it had been a longer title. But what is accomplished in only a few hours is more than some games can pull off in 20 hours.
Interact with the environment to unravel the truth
Intense and mind-bending puzzles
High-quality graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4
Full controller support
Estimated game length: 3-4 hours
If you are a horror fan looking for a good story or have some time to kill, check out Inmates on Steam for $9.99 USD, releasing October 5, 2017.
Owner of Silver Soul Gaming, writer, and podcast host, Silver is a disabled gamer that utilizes her passion for the industry and skills to write to find purpose.