Psychological horror game, The Inner Friend enchanted and disturbed upon its first release on Steam in September of last year. Developer PLAYMIND has announced that the game will be getting an expanded console release this Summer.
Inspired by the works of psychoanalyst Carl Jung, The Inner Friend is a haunting exploration of mental and emotional trauma as the player journeys to rescue the child within.
Led by a character called “the shadow,” you delve into Jung’s concept of katabasis, the descent into your own self. The game unlocks the door to the player character’s subconscious, giving monstrous physical form to mental demons in order for you to overcome them. It’s also rife with puzzles that you have to solve to progress. As you play, your environment warps to show the memories of a frightening childhood.
Enter The Mind of a Child
It’s no surprise that lead designer and writer Sabrina Calvo is a both an experienced fiction author and a child educator. The game centers on childhood and much of the game revolves around child coping mechanisms for trauma.
Visual storytelling is key, as the game has the unique quality of being narrative-driven while also being completely dialogue free.
One of the most striking features of the game is its surreal visuals, heavily influenced by Poltergeist and the filmography of Stanley Kubrick. The minimalist settings and menacing red lighting especially.
Flickering lights and creaking doors abound, but there are no jumpscares. This game’s horror is far more trippy, as a mirror will shatter into a whole new room.
The game had its console premier at this year’s PAX East at the Indie MEGABOOTH, to a resoundingly positive response. Many previewers have said they found it immersive and appropriately terrifying.
If you’re interested in playing it on console, The Inner Friend is pegged for a Summer release on PS4 and Xbox One. No official date has been nailed down yet though. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer for the console release below.