In Sound Mind, a new video game developed by Israeli game studio We Create Stuff and published by Modus Games, was finally released on Tuesday, hitting digital distribution services Steam, GOG, the Epic Games Store, Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X/S.
The game is in the psychological horror genre, and the influences of some of the past luminaries of its kind, such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent, are very visible.
Like Amnesia, In Sound Mind is a game played in the first-person perspective with a heavy emphasis on puzzle-solving. However, it also shows its survival horror influences, with an additional focus on action and boss fights.
This is done through obtaining items through exploration, with new items opening up new gameplay avenues and progressing through the story.
In In Sound Mind, players take the role of psychologist Desmond Wales, who has woken up trapped in a strange building. In his journey, he encounters horrific monsters, strange visions, a mystery involving a series of victims and experimental chemicals, and a cat named Tonia.
The building itself serves as a sort of hub world, with a series of cassettes found serving as the game's levels, allowing the player to explore the minds of the victims and battle the various monsters within.
And it is this setup that allows the gameplay to feel fresh each time. A typical feature of horror games is the single set of mechanics. Amnesia, for example, focused on stealth and puzzle-solving. F.E.A.R. emphasized rapid high-intensity action with intense gunfights.
But In Sound Mind doesn't lock itself into one particular set of mechanics. Rather, each tape brings its own set of mechanics and challenges for the player to overcome.
The game's atmosphere is also on full display, with haunting and mind-bending visuals and a soundtrack by The Living Tombstone giving each level its own distinct feel.
And of course, there is Tonia the cat. And yes, you can pet her.
The game has only just come out but has already been met with praise in reviews, getting 4/5 stars from Screen Rant and, at the time of writing, 81% from Metacritic. User reviews on Steam have also been positive thus far.
The game is currently available on consoles and PC, with its current special promotion seeing it priced at 15% off at NIS 112.15 ($35). Though not out yet, it will also soon be available for the Nintendo Switch.