Developer We Create Stuff, the studio behind Nightmare House 2, is releasing In Sound Mind this year for Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC. In Sound Mind has players take on the role of Desmond, a small town therapist, who wakes up in an abandoned building in the middle of a flooded town. As Desmond begins exploring his new surroundings, things start to feel familiar when he finds his office and pet cat Tonya (yes, petting the cat is possible).
The game progresses levels through a unique mechanic of finding old cassette tapes throughout the building and playing them inside a tape player located in the office. Once a tape begins to play, Desmond is transported into the otherworldly surroundings where the bulk of the game is played out. Each tape in In Sound Mind is a different patient of Desmond’s and have their own unique fears that the player must overcome. The tapes will eventually provide the player with a different object that can be brought with them into future tapes. This makes each level feel vastly different, as completing tapes requires proper use of the tools given in both the current and past tapes.
Every tape in In Sound Mind also creates different enemies that must be overcome based on a patient’s fears. Virginia has a fear of being stared at and judged, which manifests into a ghost that can only be spotted through a mirror. The new previewed level of Alan’s tape contains his own fears and obsession with the dark. It’s this clever use of diagnosed patients that makes each tape feel unique from one another.
Along with the creepy atmosphere and looming dread that permeates the In Sound Mind aesthetic is some really well-done sound design. From the surrounding environment’s atmospheric noise to the original soundtrack, In Sound Mind’s terror effectiveness is only increased with a dark room and quality headset.
Throughout In Sounds Mind’s demo and preview levels, there is always a stirring fear of what could be behind the next corner. The slow and methodical exploration and puzzle-solving are offset well with the frantic monster fights that appear in the game. There is a lot to look forward to in this upcoming horror title and the way each tape compounds on top of one another to form an overall narrative is a welcome change to the more common ‘horror walking simulators’ that fill the gaming marketplaces.
In Sound Mind will be available in 2021 on Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, PC, & Nintendo Switch. The demo is available now on Steam. Screen Rant attended a preview session for the purpose of this article.
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