Try to Escape From Insanity in Lithium: Inmate 39
Lithium: Inmate 39 was announced last spring, and developer CanuArts is back with a new trailer to announce the official release date. The team have previously worked on educational games, but branched into horror to tell the story of a psychiatric patient. Inmate 39 presents as a humanoid lemur who must avoid deadly traps and vicious enemies culled from the drawings of actual psychiatric patients. Along the winding corridors, there are pieces of his memory to find and reassemble.
The enemies are wild in their announcement and gameplay trailers. From a massive rat with babies’ heads growing out of its abdomen to undead enemies who range attack with their removed spines, these are the denizens of nightmares. The traps, too are unforgiving, with blades in every conceivable form coming out of the ceiling, walls, and floor.
The game isn’t all loneliness and treachery, though. Inmate 39 gets a friend in the most dangerous enemy encounters, lending a brutish hand and a human form to the game. The ally is a second playable character with a completely different play style, capable of taking much more damage. Interestingly, he looks much like the photos of Inmate 39 from medical charts laying around.
The biggest hurdle in a game about mental illness is handling the subject matter with grace. With the creepy, dark atmosphere, plentiful puzzles, and brutal enemies, that seems like the only remaining factor the trailers haven’t revealed. They’ve covered the rest of the bases, sticking to the mechanics and feel the team members have loved from their favorite horror classics.
Lithium: Inmate 39 will release on September 20th for PS4, PS Vita, and PC.