I have not actually played a horror game in quite some time, so Inmates would be my reintroduction to the genre. As such, I did not go in with any actual expectations, but, upon finishing the game, I found it to be rather disappointing. Inmates may have a good story and some nice puzzles, but it really is just an average game elsewhere.
The storyline. Despite the store page advertising a 3-4 hours game, I beat Inmates in just under an hour and a half, and that is with 100% achievements. While the game may be short, the storyline was actually pretty good for a game of this scale. I admit that I was not expecting Inmates to have anywhere near a good story and really just expected an excuse of a story to supplement the gameplay. I was pleasantly surprised to find a story that was actually interesting and had some thought put into it. There were even plenty of items to find scattered throughout the game that provide clues to the mystery, encouraging at least a little exploration from the player. The story is easily my favorite aspect of this game.
Decent puzzles. Even if the puzzles scattered throughout the game are limited, they at least add an additional layer of fun to the gameplay. None of the puzzles are too difficult to complete and really just serve as a nice break from the tense atmosphere. It was at least something to look forward to while playing.
Slow movement. My biggest complaint about Inmates would have to be just how slow the movement is. The only controls in the game are the movement keys, using the mouse to look around, left click to interact, and right click to light a match. There is no sprint, there is nothing to make the character move faster. I actually think the movement was made this slow in an attempt to lengthen the game, as it is a very, very short experience. Had there been a sprint key, I may have been able to beat the game in under an hour, rather than an hour and a half.
Jerky camera. While the jump scares were few (and that is not necessarily a bad thing), when they did happen the game would jerk the camera towards where it wants me to look, rather than keeping the camera where I had it. It was very annoying because it not only happened with the jump scares, but happened elsewhere when the game tried to direct me towards objectives or when transitioning from gameplay to a cutscene. It completely kills any sort of immersion and happened often enough for it to be more than just a minor annoyance.
Another minor problem worth mentioning is the inability to change options while in-game. That can only be done at the menu, making it difficult to adjust the game’s sensitivity to exactly where I want it without reloading the game a few times.
Inmates is a relatively average horror game overall. It is more of a walking simulator than a horror game, with just a few scares sprinkled in. There is an actually decent story in there and the puzzles were somewhat fun, but I do not think it was worth the time in the end.
You can buy Inmates on Steam here.