We Create Stuff’s recently released a demo for its acerbic and psychologically disturbing horror, In Sound Mind.
Technically, the demo was released for Halloween, but it’s 2020! Time is no longer real, and the spooky season starts and ends whenever you want it to start and end. Thanks. Good. Anyway, the story of In Sound Mind is set in a series of memories, their normal forms and shapes corrupted by some sort of trauma, and represented through rooms in a mysterious building. Each level possesses unique puzzles, mechanics, weapons, and boss fights, and terrors produced by a twisted mind stalk your every move.
Accompanied by a cat called Tonia, In Sound Mind is an “unexpected twist” on the genre, and even has a sepulchral soundtrack composed by The Living Tombstone. Sentient mannequins lurk in the shadows, and the “frenetic” puzzles sound like an unequivocally harrowing ordeal. In fact, the processing power of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X will render these eerie environments in sublime detail, leaving very little to the imagination.
For me, the most intriguing element of In Sound Mind is the imaginative and witty writing. Though you will be able to fend off the horrors with weapons from a shard of glass to a pistol, the direction through these haunted halls comes from the mannequins. One is named Dave. In a similar style to the Weeping Angels of Doctor Who, these characters will appear in one place, and disappear in the next place, though they’ll point or hold items that are vital for survival. It’s a comical subversion of the traditional trope, and will ensure that players are always guessing what lies in store.
In addition, the art direction and the world of this horror is like the groovy colors and shadows of a kaleidoscope have been extracted and scattered over the floor of a Twin Peaks set. A bleak lighthouse bathed in red light. A scabby and dilapidated warehouse with spills of strange oil, the iridescence radiating into the air. A hotel plunged in pitch blackness, and its opulent wallpapers and furniture peeling and torn. And, a dreamy scene of a geometric corridor as a skeleton of what looks like a whale drifts by. That last one has intense Dishonored vibes, and I’m sold, honestly.
The free demo is available here through Steam. In Sound Mind comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC in 2021.
Featured Image Credit: We Create Stuff, Modus Digital