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Inmates Review

Inmates Review

Inmates Review

Inmates is a solid and well-constructed adventure. It held my interest and provided several hours of respite from real life…it is definitely worth playing for those who favor exploration and story


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Developed by

Published by


Genre: 1st-Person 3D Puzzle Adventure
Release date: October 5, 2017
Platform: Windows

Déjà Vu  

The story is a familiar one. You awaken in a locked environment with no idea how you got there. Your quest is to discover your own story and (hopefully) find a way out. So begins Inmates.

You find yourself in an abandoned prison facility and your only course of action is to begin exploring, cell-by-cell and floor-by-floor. There are books of matches lying about and the smart adventurer begins hoarding them immediately. The area is also filled with graffiti, sinister messages, and the detritus of past residents. Littered amidst the grime and decay are a handful of clues about yourself.

You remember that your name is Jonathan, and that your life includes a child named Anton and a woman called Sarah. Your only contact with the outside is an occasional radio message from Ben – an unknown “friendly” who is attempting to help you. Ultimately, the snippets of information begin to form a pattern of memories.

The prison has the standard amenities of a gated community: security, a dining hall, a medical station, and a library. Beneath it all is a basement that is dark and twisty. Although you are free to explore, your travels are somewhat directed as strategically located doors are unlocked or locked, depending on where you are in the story. In addition to the ubiquitous matches, there are a handful of inventory items that are collected. There is no outright inventory management. If you have the right key, the door opens and if not… well, keep looking.

There are several logic/pattern-based puzzles that are interesting but not too difficult. Clues are in plain sight and at no point did I find myself stuck. You have some brief respites from the prison which come in the form of “mind journeys” that move you through alternate (and very surreal) realities. Each of these has a central puzzle which must be solved to return to “normal.”

(Not) Alone in the Dark  

Inmates is a dark game and you will find yourself treasuring your matches. In some areas, there is simply not enough light to see. The dim lighting creates an aura of decay and menace which is compounded by an original sound track with music by Serge Elkony. All-in-all, Inmates is a creepy game but not a scary one.

There are things that go bump in the prison but none actually harm you. Since I am not the most skilled action adventurer, I was pleased to find that Inmates is a game of discovery and not an exercise in survival. The story itself creates a sense of urgency, as you are continually reminded that time is short and yours is running out. Your personal drama escalates to a not altogether unexpected conclusion that effectively ties the loose ends together and reveals Jonathan’s fate. That’s about all that can be said without straying into spoiler territory.

The Bottom Line  

Inmates is a fairly short game and I ran through it in about 3 hours. When I reviewed the Steam Achievements, I found that I had missed one of the “mind trip” areas. Since the game has only a single save point, I would have had to start from the beginning to find it (something I do not feel compelled to do).

To summarize, Inmates is a solid and well constructed adventure. It held my interest and provided several hours of respite from real life. While it is not ground-breaking, it is definitely worth playing for those who favor exploration and story.

Short but interesting adventure

+ Creepy atmosphere that will keep you guessing
+ Ending provides closure and answers most questions
– Puzzles are very easy



System Requirements

MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10 64-bit (32-bit NOT supported!)
Processor: Intel Core 2.6 GHz or equivalent
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce GT460 or ATI HD6950 or equivalent
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 2 GB available space
Sound Card: 100% DirectX compatible audio

Cindy Kyser

Cindy Kyser

Cindy’s love affair with gaming began when she opened a mailbox in front of a white house and took the first step in a long series of adventures. ‘Back in the day,’ Cindy was a regular contributor to JA and an active member of the online gaming community. She has attended several E3s and has had the pleasure of spending time in person with both Ray and Randy. Her all- time favorite adventures include the Tex Murphy series, the Gabriel Knight series, and The Longest Journey. She also enjoys RPGs and her list of ‘best ever’ includes Fallout, Asheron’s Call, and Planescape Torment. Â Frustrated with the cost of rising PC system requirements, Cindy decided to switch to console and tablet gaming. Although you can teach some old dogs new tricks, she discovered that console controller dexterity is a skill set that she is lacking. Her results with tablet gaming were not much better. With the exception of a few gems such as The Room and Forever Lost, there is a limit to how much one can play Candy Crush and Hidden Object Adventures. Having proved that pure escapism is worth the investment, she has a new gaming laptop and is back to her search for the perfect adventure. Â After spending most of her life in Los Angeles and Atlanta, Cindy escaped the stress of urban life and moved to rural Arkansas. To show that she has become a true Arkansan, she has taken up deer hunting, wears pink camo, and put a chicken coop in her backyard. On a stressful day, she can be heard yelling ‘Woo Pig Sooie’ when all else fails.

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