I first became aware of Inmost thanks to a trailer on YouTube. I don’t recall even finishing the trailer because the first few moments had already piqued my interest. The game’s surprisingly beautiful pixel art style and eerie atmosphere was what hooked me. Oftentimes, it is unwise to judge a game based solely on such shallow details, but I am happy to say that Inmost was one poorly-researched game that paid off. Having recently published my playthrough of the game over on our Virtual Bastion YouTube channel, I thought it was about time I wrote a review so you, my dear readers, can decide for yourself if Inmost is worth your time.
Inmost is a horror puzzle platformer with three playable characters. The description on the Switch eShop describes these characters as the knight, the child, and the wanderer, so that’s what I shall call them, as well. To start, the knight is the combat-based character, complete with a sword and grapple hook of sorts to make up for his lack of jumping abilities. This guy is perfectly fun to play with, but he’s the least interesting, though his gameplay is often accompanied by important narration.
The child spends her time exploring her house, with light puzzling required. Her main abilities include climbing, and though her sections of the game are pretty simple, they are still interesting thanks to the eerie vibe of her house and the feeling of uneasiness as you try to piece together what’s going on with her parents.
The wanderer is the highlight of the game. He’s the platformer of the group and can use items he collects as he explores various spooky locations, such as a well, mines, and a decrepit castle. You will be required to solve the game’s most challenging puzzles with this guy, and while none of this is too tricky, it does take some thinking in order to figure out what you need to do.
The biggest draw for me, however, is the game’s creepy atmosphere and the story. Starting with the first point, the entire game has such an unsettling vibe. Even when nothing particularly scary is happening, the somber music and subdued color palette meant that I always felt that something was amiss. It’s no mean feat to convey such a feeling with simple pixel art, but they certainly succeeded. The outright creepy moments were good, as well. The monsters were indeed frightening, without the need to rely on jump scares or overly realistic graphics like so many other horror games.
The second main draw was the interesting and emotional story. I really appreciate the fact that this is a story you can easily figure out on your own as the game progresses, without the need to seek out in-depth theories in order to discover what’s going on. By the end of the game, I understood almost everything that had taken place, aside from a few smaller details that I needed help deciphering. There’s a lot of symbolism here, and if you pay attention, you’ll start to get a clear idea of the bigger picture. In the end, you’ll no doubt uncover a poignant story of pain, grief, and loss.
Video by YouTube User: Virtual Bastion
To leave off, Inmost is about 3-5 hours long and costs $15. While I was hesitant about that price at first considering the game’s short length, it was well worth the money. This was an excellent, atmospheric adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys horror that focuses more on the overall eerie vibe and less on blood and gore.
This post was originally published on The Duck of Indeed on October 23, 2020.