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Inmost – three fates. Review / Games


Genre Platformer
Publisher Chucklefish
Developer Hidden Layer Games
System requirements Intel Core 2 Duo E4400 2.0 GHz / AMD Athlon II X2 3.6 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9 graphics card and 512 MB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GT 440 / AMD Radeon HD 5670, 4 GB hard disk space
release date August 21, 2020 (PC, Nintendo Switch), October 11, 2019 (Apple Arcade)
Age qualification Indefined
Platforms PC, Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade
Official site

Played on PC

Inmost is a small game, most of which was done by two people. At the helm of the project was Alexey Testov, responsible for the story, amazing (if you don’t mind 8-bit aesthetics) looks and gameplay, tightly woven into the story. You can immediately feel how personal the project is – it is saturated with sadness and reflections that cannot be reached in a project emasculated by the producers. Once again I am convinced that it is impossible to do badly when you give all of yourself to work. Although the game is uneven in places, it is still impossible to tear yourself away from it.

⇡ #A path worth taking

Everyone is looking for something. Meaning. The truth. Hope. Balance and peace. The search brings forward a little girl, a desperate knight and a pensive man Adam on the verge of old age – the three protagonists of Inmost. The stories of the heroes seem to pass independently, intersecting only at a few points, and then only slightly, tangentially.

Dream or reality?

At first, you don’t understand much about what is happening – do not rush, feel the mood. We’ll spend most of the time with Adam. He keeps trying to find something in the old ruins, full of dangers. The mysterious silhouette draws him further and further, through traps and monsters. He does not know how to fight, so only ingenuity and remnants of his former agility will help him stay alive.

Each protagonist got his own style of passing. While under our control Adam, Inmost turns into a platformer with mostly uncomplicated puzzles. You have to jump over chasms, push boxes and lure slimy monsters into traps. Each scene tries to suggest a unique situation: it is necessary to lift a can of fuel on the system from the cranes, then set the monsters against each other, then escape from a dangerous and terribly nimble creature.

The surroundings of the castle turn into a whole world – one complex map. In the manner of metroidvania, over time, new tools appear that allow you to get to previously inaccessible places. Some items are also required to find the sparkling shards. The local witch says that these are grains of pain, and she will gladly exchange them for a story about a knight. About the same knight that Adam sometimes sees in spontaneous obsessions.

Inmost masterfully plays with colors

Inmost masterfully plays with colors

Unlike a researcher, a knight in heavy armor is not able to jump, but deftly handles a sword. There is no need for him to fool opponents when he can simply cut them into pieces. Abyss and height are also not a problem – the hook will allow you to briskly jump on the platforms. The warrior scenes are straightforward and much more dynamic. The music becomes more aggressive, the color palette goes into scarlet tones, and the hero tears enemies to pieces and desperately pursues the flower, even though he knows that he is not destined to get it. After all, he is a stranger.

Another hero, visions of which haunt Adam, is a little girl in a large but empty house. She is offended by her father and refuses to accept gifts. For some reason, the mother simply ignores her daughter. Therefore, she has fun herself and makes friends with a plush hare. Which, as it turned out, is quite talking and surprisingly bloodthirsty. Together they try to solve the dark secret of the house, slowly exploring the rooms.

Inmost skillfully keeps the rhythm, juggling a variety of situations. It is through the play scenes that the storytelling is mainly conducted. It is sparing of words, only two storytellers sometimes comment on the heroes’ adventures. The most amazing thing here is how smoothly the gameplay flows into stunningly animated scenes – like watching an 8-bit cartoon.

The girl's imaginary friend loves to get into philosophical reflections.

The girl’s imaginary friend loves to get into philosophical reflections.

Despite the modest number of pixels in the characters, Inmost is technically much more difficult than the old platformers of the nineties. Of course, I foresee a few comments that the game seems to have come from the NES times, and the style is certainly not to everyone’s taste. But sometimes it is impressive. First of all, you pay attention to the insane amount of detail. The world appears tangible due to the way the characters interact with it. Each character has more than half a thousand unique animations.

The background is made up of several layers of landscapes – all of them, of course, are also animated. All light sources are handcrafted. In fact, the game does not have a smart lighting system, the authors just got so confused that they manually processed each torch and each light bulb, estimating how their light would be reflected on neighboring objects.

The characters have their own audiovisual themes. The color scheme changes from one character to another, as does the musical mood. The soundtrack serves as the real crown of the game. The work of the young composer Alexei Nechaev is worthy of all praise. In places it is the music, not the picture, that plays the leading role in the story.

It's not easy to climb trees at such years

It’s not easy to climb trees at such years

The dense and powerful fusion of sound, storytelling and visual style makes Inmost so memorable. The mechanics are also neatly woven into the overall canvas, but the gameplay serves rather as a frame – first of all, we have a cinematic experience, something akin to modern Sony exclusives, adjusted for pixel art. In the finale, the game suggests putting the controller aside at all – it no longer needs to involve the user through the interactive. The heroes will overcome the last twenty minutes without your help and you will finally understand how their fates are connected. It is at this point that Inmost reaches its emotional peak. Musical tension is about to explode. But suddenly there was silence. Exhalation. Titles.

* * *

Inmost flamboyant and melancholic at the same time, exciting and meditative. She manages to pull off a rare trick, which is only given to masters of storytelling – she remains mysterious until the final minutes, but as soon as the last piece is added to the puzzle, everything suddenly makes sense. This is all the fun.

Advantages:

  • a living world with hundreds, thousands of animations that will captivate pixel art lovers;
  • many unique situations;
  • music envelops and draws into a whirlpool of sadness, anxiety and hope;
  • verified rhythm of the narration – in the last seconds everything falls into place, and catharsis sets in.

Disadvantages:

  • pixel art is not for everyone;
  • in several scenes it is not very clear what is required of the player.

Graphic arts

If you love pixel art, then the living world of Inmost will give you real aesthetic pleasure.

Sound

A stunningly atmospheric soundtrack, which is perfectly perceived in isolation from the game, and in the process of passing it sometimes even takes on the leading role in the narration.

Single player game

A simple but neat platformer in which all the mechanics serve primarily to immerse yourself in the story.

Collective game

Not provided.

General impression

Cinematic puzzle platformer in 8-bit style that is impossible to tear yourself away from.

Rating: 9.0 / 10

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