What does nightmares, headaches, visions, a rundown somewhat abandoned prison; lots of bibles, disturbing-imagery, lots of matches, cryptographs, and memory loss all have in common? All of these are not what you want to encounter ever, especially all in the same place. Unfortunately you will, and more. This is our review of Inmates.
Inmates is the first game from independent developer Davit Andreasyan and published by Iceberg Interactive. Inmates is a psychological horror puzzle game about finding out the truth of why you are in a terrifying prison. You play as Johnathan and your drive is to figure out the truth about your confinement as well as the underlying dark secrets that this run-down prison might be holding.
Inmates is a very linear, straightforward game. It’s not top shelf storytelling, but it is quite interesting.
Inmates sports some very basic controls. In fact, even the options offerings are very sparse. You are offered three options for graphics quality, low, medium, and high and basically three actions which are to interact, strike a match, and exit a puzzle. Of course you have your move keys. Inmates is only available on PC, but also offers controller support. Something I noticed was that once I started the game, if I needed to possibly go back into the menu to adjust let’s say the brightness, well I couldn’t. The only way would be to exit out of the game and back to the title menu. I don’t quite know how I feel about that.
Inmates describes itself as a psychological horror puzzle game and holds up to that fairly well. In the begin of your adventure into finding out what was going on, and spattered throughout, there definitely were some tense moments and pseudo-jump scares. Something that helped accomplished this is Inmates environment and settings. You come across cryptic messages, shrines, and writings that all helps to give some clues to the background. The almost abandoned prison is very unsettling and the basement and shower room just perfect complements. Also, everything is so dark! So very, very dark! When I was coming across many boxes of matches, I said to myself, wow, I have a lot of matches here. Am I missing something? Well they came in very handy because striking a match at times is the only way for you to see into the thick darkness, giving you a couple seconds of light.
Something that I enjoyed, were the puzzles. They weren’t brain busting, but some did take a moment where I had to step back and look at what I was trying to solve. Most of the puzzles fitted the situation while there were others that just made me say oh, okay, I have to solve this puzzle. All in all, okay.
Another thing you will notice about Inmates and controls is that your character Johnathan walks everywhere. No, there are no options to sprint, or jog. Nope, you will be walking everywhere! Slowly! You would think that if you wanted to get out of an unpleasant environment, you would put some hop in your step, but not Johnathan and this became a little bit tiring fairly quickly. Also, your character is bolted to the floor so that means no jumping either. I came across an instance where I had to go from point A to point B and instead of just walking across the room possibly stepping over some benches, I had to find a way to walk around the benches.
When it comes to Inmates’ graphics the textures in most of the areas are kind of bland. There were highlights with the lighting in some places. Clipping issues were present and there was even a moment where I got stuck on an invisible corner. The sound is not adjustable so everything is pretty much thrown together. The voice acting in the game actually wasn’t that bad. It was decent. Although, the first time I heard it, there was something just strange about it. It was as if the acting didn’t fit into the game, but that passed as the game went on.
Inmates for its price point of $9.99, which during the week of its release you can get a 10% discount ($8.99), and for the length of the game, which could run you about two to four hours, is really a budget indie horror game. The storyline is a little intriguing but to be honest you will probably figure out what’s going on before the end of the game. Once you have finished Inmates, I don’t see a very high replayability and you picking it back up. As a one man team, Davit Andreasyan has done a decent job with his first game entry with Inmates.
***FULL DISCLOSURE: Confident Gamers was provided a full game PC key for review purposes.***