Inmost review: A disturbing and beautiful indie game

Hidden Layer Games
Hidden Layer Games /

Inmost tells a disturbing yet beautiful tale set in a complex world and offers one of the best puzzle platforming experiences of recent memory.

Title: Inmost
Developer: Hidden Layer Games
Publisher: Chucklefish
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch (reviewed on), iOS
Release Date: August 21, 2020

Inmost, developed by Hidden Layer Games, is a beautifully crafted while simultaneously bleak puzzle platformer that explores themes of grief, mourning, acceptance, and hope in the wake of tremendous loss.

There is a warning at the start of Inmost that explicitly informs the player of the game’s dark nature, and it isn’t unwarranted.  Although the game has a pixelated art style, it is not for the faint of heart, as there are several disturbing aspects to the experience.

Inmost has you taking control of three distinct characters: a little girl exploring a house, a knight fighting his way through monsters, and a man exploring the world of the game uncovering its many secrets. Each character plays exceptionally different from the other, keeping the experience varied and engaging.

The world is incredibly detailed, with the art style fitting the tone of the game very well. Mainly playing as the man, there are also a few dozen collectibles to find as you slowly discover more areas to explore as you acquire more items.

When given the code to review this game, I was told by the developers that Inmost is best played “in one sitting on a dark and stormy night,” which is precisely what I did to immerse myself in the experience fully.  Hidden Layer Games nails the aesthetic of Inmost, offering a truly immersive world that will have you wanting to solve every mystery held within it.

While somewhat confusing at first, the story slowly comes together as the game progresses, giving various hints about what is going on.  While the game’s final sequence is rather handheld, I still appreciated the approach to storytelling, allowing you to think deeply about the metaphors that the story offers and figure out the overarching narrative on your own.

Hidden Layer Games /

There is also a narrator to press the story onward, particularly while playing as the knight. While I don’t think having a narrator was necessary for a game like this, it didn’t detract from the experience in any way.

While mostly fine, the controls were also odd at times. The character would unintentionally grab or climb the wrong object and there were several instances in puzzle solving where death seemed inevitable in figuring the puzzle out.  Thankfully, death is very forgiving and doesn’t require you to tediously repeat a puzzle if you die in the middle of solving it.

While the issues I have with Inmost are mostly nitpicks, I think the game offers a genuinely intriguing experience filled with both horror and beauty that will stick with you for a long while after finishing it.

Inmost is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop and Steam on PC for $14.99 as well as the iOS App Store if you have an Apple Arcade Subscription.

Inmost tells a disturbing yet beautiful tale set in a complex world.  It balances both narrative and gameplay surprisingly well and offers an experience that will keep you engaged throughout.  Despite some small issues, Hidden Layer Games offers one of the best indie game experiences in a while and is worth your time if you are a fan of platforming and puzzle-solving.. Hidden Layer Games. . Inmost. 8

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.