Memories of childhood are, ideally, pleasant things: Recollections of a happy, innocent time, when responsibilities were someone else’s problem. But not always. Childhood is also a time of life filled with fears and traumas that can leave lasting imprints on the subconscious mind. That, very generally, is the setting for The Inner Friend, a strange first-person horror game that debuted today on Steam.
The Inner Friend leads players (literally) on a surreal journey through an “Alice in Wonderland-type world,” filled with creatures that must be evaded and escaped. But ultimately, only confronting them will enable you to rebuild the safe haven that will save the Shadow (your guide along this path, although I strongly suspect it’s actually you) from his darkest fears. The “rich but wordless story” relies heavily on dark, bizarre visuals and an “immersive soundscape” created from environmental audio cues and a cinematic soundtrack.
It’s all quite weird, but surreal adventures are my kind of thing, and I like the look of the trailer. It reminds me of games like Inside and Among the Sleep, which were both quite good, and so I hope that The Inner Friend can match up to them. It’s been selected for recognition by the Gamescom Indie Arena Booth and PAX West: COGconnected, which got some hands-on time with it at PAX, said that it’s “engaging to play and understands that children feel the same complex and often frightening emotions that adults do.”
The Inner Friend is available today on Steam and is coming soon to the Humble Store. You can find out more at theinnerfriend.com.