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Thriller Game Inmates: Available Now on Steam

Escape Your Prison in Inmates: Available Now!


October has arrived, and with it come the pangs for horror games! This week, Iceberg Interactive will release its new puzzle/horror game: Inmates. This psychological thriller puts you in the head of Johnathan, a seemingly normal young man who wakes up in a horribly abnormal place. Trapped in a rundown prison with no means of escape, Johnathan must navigate through the rusty halls and find out how to stop the entire building from crumbling on top of him. The answers lie in the Director’s office, but can Johnathan reach it before the prison’s security reaches him?


Just from the title screen, you can tell that Iceberg Interactive put tons of effort in giving Inmates the creepy aesthetic all good horror games need. The sound of trickling water from old pipes, the loud creaks from half-rusted doors, even the frantic shaking of the menu’s text gives you a rush of uneasiness. The gameplay takes that first impression and ramps the tension up to 11. Narrow hallways, prison cells with clues (and traps) around every corner, and the sudden crash of thunder ensures that you never get a chance to fully relax. Inmates picks its obvious jump scares carefully, then lets your own paranoia handle the rest.

The game’s biggest (and perhaps most unexpected) strength comes from its puzzles. Inmates provides almost no tutorial and expects you to figure out how each puzzle works on your own. This challenge not only makes the game more fun, but it also provides a few moments of peace for some of the more anxiety-prone players. Long as you’re fiddling with a locked door, nothing’s going to jump out and murder you, right? …Right?


While it might not take long to figure out the answer to each puzzle, Iceberg Interactive deserves praise for making each challenge feel unique. The correct answers almost universally open something, but the means to unlock them come in a wide variety of settings and formats. Sometimes you’ll need to just match a pair of symbols together, other times you’ll have to deduce what item is missing from a set of images. What’s more impressive than the puzzles themselves is the place they’re presented; one trial demands you to open a basement door, another throws you into a child’s bedroom, and a third has you floating around in what feels like an M. C. Escher painting! Unlike some other horror games, you won’t be faced with the same problem over and over again, with the only difference being a procedurally generated jigsaw.

Far as the rest of Inmates gameplay goes, there are some smaller pros like the limited light source in the form of matches, but a few cons that might disappoint some hardcore horror gamers. You can deduct from the lack of hiding spaces and a sprint button that no unscripted monster is coming to get you. The most present antagonist—the menacing security guard Roy—attacks you in the same places in the same manner, and there’s no way to outrun him. The other scary presences make minuscule interactions with Johnathan, and while they might startle the unprepared player at first, their repetitive mannerisms make them seem more decorative than anything else. While Inmates hits the perfect chords for a horror atmosphere, the game’s a psychological thriller at heart. Don’t expect the unexpected, just enjoy the ride.

The biggest complaint gamers might have is the lack of a journal/objectives menu. Johnathan finds his way around the prison with just a breadcrumb trail of guidelines and hints that only show up on the screen once. For the player, this means that Inmates can become frustratingly unforgiving the further they progress. If you’re not paying full attention when the next clue comes up, get ready to start wandering around the prison and backtracking like crazy! If nothing else, Iceberg Interactive should definitely consider adding a menu to help players keep track of what they’re looking for.


Inmates is a short game and can be finished in one sitting so long as you know what you’re doing. However, the prison is padded with dozens of interesting Easter Eggs to help flush out not just the game’s runtime, but its overall plot as well. Some of the more genre-savvy players might guess what’s happening from the get-go, but for others, it’s good to see how this unique approach to an age-old struggle is portrayed; not just as a game, but as a story. Johnathan may not ever be fully free of this prison, but if he can reach the Director’s office in time, there’s at least some hope that he’ll someday see the sun.

Inmates is available now on Steam.

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