In Sound Mind, the preview of a promising psychological horror

In Sound Mind, the preview of a promising psychological horror

In Sound Mind

The horror genre is now among the most difficult for developers to tame due to the saturation of the offer and an objective difficulty in going beyond the most popular models. Most of the language spoken by these titles comes from the experience of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which in addition to having made school, has not yet been completely overcome (not even by the authors themselves, to be honest). Some manage to speak it with great fluidity and mastery, others stammer a little, often mistaking the syntax, but obtaining more than worthy results, and still others simply have not understood how it works and just copy the more superficial aspects believing them to be fundamental.

Psychological horror In Sound Mind seems to belong to the first category, at least in the compactness of its vision and in the awareness of its means. In June of last year we had dedicated a trial to it, based on the first public demo, while now we have been invited to see some of the advanced contents, to dedicate a new preview to it, waiting to get our hands on the final version.


In Sound Mind: One of the In Sound Mind game environments tells the story of a psychologist who woke up in the basement of an abandoned building, which stands in the middle of a completely flooded city. The man does not remember anything, he does not know what happened to him or why he is there. He especially he does not know why there are some monsters who want to kill him, incited by a mysterious character who contacts him by phone, even in the absence of a line.

Reached what appears to be his office, the real adventure begins: by inserting cassettes with the recordings of the sessions of some of his patients in a cassette player, he is projected into what seems to be their psychic universe , made up of unresolved traumas and distressing memories, unfortunately also full of creatures who can't wait to kill him. The demo allows (it is still available) to get to the end of the first case (in total there will be four, as the developers have revealed) and obviously does not give answers to most of the open questions since the introduction of the game. The new material that we were able to see didn't reveal much more about the plot, but it certainly clarified some aspects of the gameplay.


Each object can have multiple uses One of the most interesting features of In Sound Mind seems to be the structuring of the puzzles and the way in which all the elements that make up a given scenario are used to give variety to the gameplay, while maintaining a total continuity in themes and atmosphere.

For example, one of the puzzles of the new case that we have seen, required the use of an object found in a previous case to be solved. Not only that: the object was identical, but its new use was extremely different. It seems as if certain elements have a polysemic nature, so much so that they can be recontextualized according to the situation.

Be careful because the adventure itself is extremely guided, but for this very reason it seems to work well and is perceived as part of a strong authorial project. Of course these are just impressions, so take them as such and wait for the game over to discuss it all again.

The risk in these cases is always that the best is shown to the press, leaving the weakest moments out of scope (this applies to all games, mind you). Speaking of the scenarios, we were particularly struck by the way in which the elements were exploited. Normally in titles like this, the levels are just crossed. There are dangers, of course, maybe you need to solve some puzzles, but it ends there. In Sound Mind, on the other hand, he tries to give them more strength, not only by exploiting them in a more convinced way, but also by transforming their characteristics with greater symbolic force into active elements. For example, in one of the cases shown to us, the protagonist has to reach a lighthouse to turn it back on: the same one that works as a kind of eye of Sauron, haunting him throughout the level.

Action scenes

The protagonist's office There are also many action scenes. They may not be the best for tension, but they definitely serve to break the rhythm of the gameplay (hoping they are well positioned). Also from this point of view In Sound Mind seems to be very varied: between shootings, obstacle courses on rough paths, dream sequences with strong platform elements and shadow creatures that move underground absorbing everything they touch, there really is. never to rest assured. Note that the protagonist can defend himself, which is rare these days.

Of course it does not have infinite bullets and therefore must not waste them, but at least it is a rapprochement to the survival nature of the genre, with the search for ammunition and other consumables that falls heavily into the gameplay. In any case, even for the action scenes it is necessary to verify their integration into the game fabric. The risk in these cases is always that they clash with everything else. After all, the player in a horror game seeks above all the possibility of sinking into a state of tension that accompanies him from the beginning to the end of the adventure, certainly not enemies to be killed as in any shooter.

The technical side also deserves a note. Far be it from us to allow ourselves to make grave judgments starting from non-definitive material, but since we have eyes, it is inevitable to have noticed something. Graphically In Sound Mind seems to have ups and downs, with some elements done really well (e.g. shadow creatures sucking in objects) and others looking very poor. If you want the demo itself tells a similar story, but the new material viewed has further consolidated this impression. It must be said that we are facing a very small production, so some shortcuts are justifiable. We will see with the finished game in hand how much they are.

In Sound Mind we like it more and more with each new match, despite some limitations, especially technical ones. This does not mean that we are ready to express an opinion on the game, but only that we recognize its potential thanks to the presence of really interesting elements and the way it is built. We'll see if the final version keeps all promises or if it turns out to be a hole in the water. Meanwhile, we can not help but wait, at least to know the end of the story.


The puzzles seem well constructed The use of some elements of the scenarios is interesting The story has intrigued us DOUBTS Technically it seems to have ups and downs Too driven?

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