Developer: Hidden Layer Games
Release Date: 08/21/2020
I know pixelated 2D games have been done to death these days, but sometimes they really stand out. Inmost has detailed visuals, great animations, and an interesting and engaging horror theme and atmosphere that kept me sitting through until the end. While the story isn’t all that great, the message at the end of the game makes it all worthwhile.
You play as a few characters in this game. One is a middle-aged man, another is a knight, and the third is a little girl. You jump between the three as the story unfolds and each has a unique control scheme. The man can jump around and find objects to progress, the knight can engage in combat, and the little girl can’t jump, but must crawl her way around a house lifting objects to create steps and unlock the secret of this house. It keeps the game fresh and moving, but most of the game is played as the man.
The entire area is quite large that you explore and backtrack through. Climbing around the levels also requires dodging black matter that can attack you and there are even some intense chase scenes. You are solving puzzles, pulling levers, and switching, and like Metroid, you are also finding new objects to progress through the level. A crowbar, pulley, knife, pickaxe, and more are needed to progress along with the occasional key. The game was never too touchy and I enjoyed how the game made me think a little bit. There is some clever level design here as I actually remembered where doors and entrances were as I progressed. By the end of this entire area, I actually memorized the entire thing and could backtrack anywhere with no issue or a map. That takes skill and I commend the developers for creating such a great map with memorable landmarks.
Playing as the knight, you can swing your sword and use a hook shot to get around, but you can’t jump. The enemies vary with numerous hits needed to defeat them, but overall these are easy areas. If you die you literally just respawn in the same spot so the game is very forgiving. As a little girl, you must walk around the house moving chairs, opening cupboards, and finding secret entrances in the house and I found it quite entertaining. Without giving too much of the story away there’s really not much here and it mostly makes zero sense. I know there’s something about a Soul Flower and the knight is trying to take them for himself and stealing other Soul Flowers is required to give to the Keeper which is a giant guardian type thing. It makes no sense honestly. Even in the final 15-minute cut scene, I couldn’t really figure out what was going on, but without spoiling the very end the message is what counts the most and it was rather touching.
The visuals are great with lots of dark colors, great pixel art, smooth animations, and tons of atmosphere. The game is a treat to look at, and the music is amazing. There’s quite a bit of emotion in this game, and I just wish the story was a bit more comprehensive to make the whole package feel a little more complete. As it stands, Inmost is a great 2D platformer that takes around 4 hours to complete. It’s a small investment for a great ending and some fun and challenging puzzles and platforming. If you don’t like modern 2D pixel art games, this won’t change your mind, but for fans of Metroid and Castlevania, there’s not much to lose here.