Reviews - Updated on March 26, 2022

Remember the famous creepy rhyme from A Nightmare on Elm Street? There is a similar rhyme in Insomnis, also performed by kids. True, not quite alive, but not dead in the full sense of the word. Their souls we have to calm – or anger. We make a decision at the end, and before that we will have to reveal all the secrets and mysteries of the gloomy mansion, which the hero inherited from his grandfather, a scientist.

artistic fear

Yes, there is also a cursed old house in Insomnis, where you sneak in the dark with a flashlight at the ready, shuddering from the creak of the floorboards, listening to the rustles and sounds; and scientists with their terrible experiments; and screamers when a mannequin suddenly comes to life or something else unexpected and frightening happens. Naturally, there are a lot of notes and objects around that can be picked up, examined and put back. In general, a seemingly standard set of typical horror clichés. Unless there are hide and seek with monsters.

Insomnis: Overview

Here, even without monsters, it becomes uncomfortable.

But screamers can hardly be called cheap, in the spirit of many video game horror films – they are much more logically inscribed in what is happening, and the authors prepare us so meticulously for them with the help of gradually increasing sounds and the same music that you understand and internally prepare – now something will happen . And still, a couple of times I jumped up and cursed – but I don’t want to scold the authors themselves at all. I repeat, the screamers here are arranged very competently.

Would you like to hear what sounds it is accompanied by.

And they are just as competently beaten, fit into what is happening. These are not just monsters, but characters that do not disappear anywhere. You can follow this girl, who ran past the door in the gif above, and see how she draws something on the table in another room – and you will find out for yourself what happens if you approach her.

And in any case, in Insomnis, despite the fact that this is a frightening, uncomfortable game, which, after the first acquaintance, I was even afraid to approach a second time; which made me remember again about validol, and about my age, and about the fact that the heart is no longer the same – and so, at the same time, suspense is not built on screamers.

Insomnis: Overview

It’s just that the drawing girl here is much more frightening than the wolfhound jumping out of the darkness at you.

More precisely, not only on them. They scare here much more skillfully and more interestingly. For example, paintings and the general surroundings, the interior of the mansion, which, by the way, can change. So, going into one of the rooms on the ground floor for the second time, I almost turned gray when I saw a tower of chairs where they had not been before. These are the “screamers” that work best here.

Insomnis: Overview

Such paintings in the hall immediately set the visitors in the right mood.

At the same time repulsive and bewitching with their terrible, wrong, sick beauty, the paintings on the walls; gaping black broken mirrors and the places where they were; a lot of children’s drawings, pencils, felt-tip pens and soft toys that can be pierced with a knife or something else sharp. Or these interiors:

And they are all without gloves! Where is Rospotrebnadzor looking?

Everything around here is both frightening and fascinating at the same time, forcing you to return and still find out what happened in this mansion. I repeat, you don’t have to fight or hide from monsters, and the only option for the death of the protagonist happens somewhere behind the scenes, but this doesn’t make it any less scary.

Not a children’s story about children

Yes, the plot in Insomnis is exciting, tense and scary – despite all the clichés about experiments and old mansions. It frightens, first of all, the realization that the victims were orphans. And although what exactly happened to them here is not immediately clear, from the very beginning, when you see all these toys, children’s drawings and read the postcards that our hero sent as a child to his grandfather, the owner of the mansion, it immediately begins to ache in the heart.

Insomnis: Overview

In addition to postcards, toys can be collected as collectibles.

It is clear that harming children or any hint of their suffering in games is always a low blow and almost a forbidden hold. But even here the authors of Insomnis do not act directly, directly and cheaply – no one torments poor children in front of you, everything is again more subtle, and the motivation of the “villains” raises serious and rather complex questions from a moral point of view. Therefore, the final choice is not as simple as it might seem at first glance.

Insomnis: Overview

The hero will face the consequences of his decision.

And the puzzles are perfectly inscribed in the story – there are no abstract puzzles that obey the logic of the game designer, known only to himself. Yes, there is nothing super complicated in riddles, but they are unusual and varied. There is no need to repair wiring, turn valves, look for ID-cards and move boxes. You even need to pick up the codes for the safe and the electronic lock exactly once for the whole game – and the clues to them are interestingly hidden.

Insomnis: Overview

You will even have to watch a short film.

Much revolves around the need to decipher the names of children hidden in riddles associated with letters. Somewhere you need to play the melody on the piano correctly, somewhere you need to put on a mannequin, determining from the children’s drawing what is still missing. There are, of course, puzzles associated with paintings and drawings.

Here you need to carefully listen to the nursery rhyme I mentioned at the very beginning.

Somewhere the riddles are very sad – to solve them, you need to determine the time of death or, for example, find bodies in the morgue. But one day you will have to remember your childhood and play the famous Memo.

Insomnis: Overview

This painted “magic” door will have to be opened.

Insomnis can be completed in one and a half to two hours. But this is a very intense one and a half to two hours, which fit a lot of events, mysteries, secrets, unexpected, frightening meetings and discoveries, as well as a pack of validol and one difficult decision. It would be so for everyone – not to spread the thought along the tree, stretching out the passage, but to give out a concise, concentrated suspense and emotional drama that strikes not in the eyebrow, but in the eye.

Pros: fascinating story; the game knows how to scare – and does it interestingly and with fiction; many unusual puzzles in their own way; great work with sound.

Cons: the game is very short; optimization is not up to par, and character models seem completely outdated.

4/5 - (1 vote)
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