Descend into an eerie world made of scattered memories and unresolved traumas and explore a nightmarish landscape where you will come face to face with childhood fears and nightmares.

The Inner Friend is a great game for jump scare enthusiasts and platforming/puzzle fans. Although the short overall narrative isn’t super deep, its message surrounding mental health is one that is more than capable of resonating with players.

As you move through the various levels, different ages of the main character are explored but in the two or three hours of game time, you are left with far too many questions. What makes the experience worthwhile are the graphics and music that build effective moods and create a level of tension that goes hand-in-hand with your character’s vulnerability. Fortunately, if you die, the resets are quick and bring you back to a point close to where you previously expired. For a first game effort, Playmind has crafted a decent experience that shines technically but lacks in storytelling clarity and game playing depth.

More impressive than terrifying, The Inner Friend favours inventive ideas over bloodcurdling ones.

Even though it was a short game, The Inner Friend lingers in the back of your brain long after you put the controller down. It’s an emotional journey exploring childhood fears and trauma, and might just have you pulling out your favorite stuffed animal for a reassuring squeeze.

The Inner Friend is a game with interesting ambitions that doesn’t quite gel together into a cohesive whole. While elements of the game (music and creature design) are quite stellar, other areas (puzzles, controls) suffer enough to hold the game back from what it could have been. The Inner Friend is still worth a look as an interesting experiment, just go in forewarned about the parts that don’t work so well.

The Inner Friend isn’t a bad game, but it never really rises above mediocrity. As a result, it’s difficult to recommend unless the narrative premise attracts you. There are some moments of greatness amidst an interesting take on trauma and the idea of replaying unresolved memories from one’s past, but the overall feel is distinctly average.

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