The Inner Friend is a first-person horror game about childhood fears

Memories of childhood are, ideally, pleasant things: Recollections of a happy, innocent time, when responsibilities were someone else's problem. But not always. Childhood is also a time of life filled with fears and traumas that can leave lasting imprints on the subconscious mind. That, very generally, is the setting for The Inner Friend, a strange first-person horror game that debuted today on Steam. 

The Inner Friend leads players (literally) on a surreal journey through an "Alice in Wonderland-type world," filled with creatures that must be evaded and escaped. But ultimately, only confronting them will enable you to rebuild the safe haven that will save the Shadow (your guide along this path, although I strongly suspect it's actually you) from his darkest fears. The "rich but wordless story" relies heavily on dark, bizarre visuals and an "immersive soundscape" created from environmental audio cues and a cinematic soundtrack.   

It's all quite weird, but surreal adventures are my kind of thing, and I like the look of the trailer. It reminds me of games like Inside and Among the Sleep, which were both quite good, and so I hope that The Inner Friend can match up to them. It's been selected for recognition by the Gamescom Indie Arena Booth and PAX West: COGconnected, which got some hands-on time with it at PAX, said that it's "engaging to play and understands that children feel the same complex and often frightening emotions that adults do." 

The Inner Friend is available today on Steam and is coming soon to the Humble Store. You can find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.