Insomnis at its heart is a short and linear puzzle game with horror trappings. While for some reason it’s tagged as “Action-Adventure” on Steam (at the time of this review, at least), it is decidedly NOT. There is no action to be found here. That’s not a bad thing, however. What it does, it does remarkably well for a debut title from an indie developer. (And for the record, the developer describes exactly what you should expect; the action-adventure tag appears to be just a quirk due to people being able to tag it as such.)
It’s worth noting that the amount of time you spend in the game is largely going to depend on how skillfully you solve the puzzles. Most of them are fairly straightforward, while a couple might give you pause. Many of them require you to find an object of some form, to give you the final solution/complete them. It’s worth noting that the game is VERY linear. The developer wants to tell a story, and so this ends up somewhat forcing you to solve puzzles in a specific order. (As one puzzle will give you a crucial piece to the next.) This is where many developers fail; either giving you too much freedom (and thereby harming the narrative) or by failing to give you a compelling environment or story.
Path Games succeeds on this challenge, however, because they never try to exceed what their budget would allow. This game uses sound amazingly well to build suspense and atmosphere. Between ambient droning tones to give an unsettling vibes when nothing in particular is going on, to the sound effects, they really exceeded my expectations. My only (mild) issue is with your character’s voice actor; he doesn’t emote particularly well. He speaks sparingly enough that it doesn’t bring the game down in any meaningful way, however.
Graphically, the game definitely shows its indie roots, but not to a game-breaking degree. Yes, you’ll see some repeated textures, or possibly a janky animation here or there, but nothing immersion-breaking. There were definitely a couple of points where something looked like it SHOULD be interactive, but was simply decorative, which led to a small bit of frustration with the first puzzle in the game, but this wasn’t a game breaker for me.
In its final act, the game went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting, and kept me hooked through the endings. There’s actually two, which was another small surprise that was honestly quite satisfying.
While some might feel that the price is a little high compared to the length, I really feel that the price is fair for the quality of experience gamers can expect here. Without reservation, I can recommend this one at full price, and I’m eager to see what this developer gives us next.
CLICK HERE TO BUY INSOMNIS.
The Chuck is a lifelong gamer who was born in Ohio, but now lives in much closer proximity to Mickey Mouse.
The Chuck has found his life to be a series of improbable and almost unbelievable events, starting when he was twenty and caught the bubonic plague from a prairie dog. He was as surprised as anyone when he found out that's something that can happen.
When he isn't gaming, The Chuck can be found enjoying baseball, (American) football, pro wrestling, and horror movies. He is most commonly seen in the company of one or more cats.
Reclusive by nature, The Chuck is (like most semi-feral creatures) reward-driven. Approach with caution and some form of treat.