The awesome folks over at Playmind gave me the opportunity to experience their award-winning atmospheric psychological thriller The Inner Friend. In this game, players will be taking on the role of an unnamed character (that resembles a child) that journey through the subconscious world of the Shadow, the literal inner-child of the player’s character picking up the pieces of the past and facing past trauma.
Since there’s nothing earth-shattering negative about The Inner Friend, let’s get some of the negative points that out of the way first. The game’s length is short, I was able to beat it in about 2 hours or so but I enjoyed every second of it. The controls for the game are a bit aggravating as directing the direction of the character is a bit tedious and there’s no real tutorial, which is alright in the end as you literally only use two buttons and the control sticks.
With that, now onto the positives!
As mentioned in the beginning, The Inner Friend is quite atmospheric giving the feeling of what someone’s subconscious would be like. The art is quite unique and fits the game’s style and story. I love how the monsters in the game look as it’s very reminiscent of childhood nightmares!
The sound is quite fitting as the lack of dialogue helps show the story instead of telling it thanks to the character’s pantomiming. The sound effects used depending on the levels can be a bit droning but with the action on the screen, you actually miss it. The music, when there is any, fits the atmosphere of the game and compliments the art.
Overall gameplay, it’s a fun experience. There are some puzzles that may need to be solved in order for you to advance and enemies you have to avoid adding the right amount of tension to the game. There are items you can find that will help unlock a secret cinematic scene in the game, pro tip: listen carefully as you will hear a lovely tune when you’re close to an item.
On my scale of Ten Stars, the gameplay, story, art, sound/music give this game a high rating, the confusing controls and lack of tutorial really have no effect on The Inner Friend’s performance and can be forgiven however the game’s length and low chance of replayability have affected my rating, 8/10.
The Inner Friend is out now on PlayStation 4, and Xbox One