In Fear I Trust Review (iOS)

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In Fear I Trust places gamers in a facility where experimentation comes at the expense of the test subjects. Touted as a psychological thriller, this puzzler is also an absorbing journey to the unknown, a mystery that you may be too scary to solve.

The title's atmospheric, film noir inspired tone begins with the opening cutscene, as you play a guy who needs some quick cash to take care his loved ones. After signing your life away to what may be your last ever contract, the story cuts to a dreary day in your holding cell. Lying down may be a pleasure in real life, but the task is afoot. With the swipe of a finger, it's time to check out your surroundings.

Swiping is not the sole control scheme at your disposal, as two virtual joysticks are the main methods of navigation. With the left joystick employed for walking and your right controls serving as your eyes, scanning a given area is a seamless, simultaneous experience. If you love to luxuriate in your surroundings and believe slow and steady wins the race, moving around a given area shouldn't be a frustrating experience.

Others who need to solve their puzzles in quicker fashion can double tap the screen to their intended destination for much faster movement. Although I initially found In Trust I Fear's control mechanic a bit clunky, I now appreciate the developers' methodical, and in effect compelling, manner of controlling this claustrophobic environment.

Unfortunately it’s the atmosphere, and not the puzzles, that distinguishes In Fear I Trust. Some challenges will require you to fix a power switch by tapping on various wires or randomly press a few buttons to get the desired combination. One task deals with balancing a scale with the proper flasks, and solving the puzzle leads to the discovery of a photo. It may take you a few minutes to solve each challenge, but many of these activities come off as afterthoughts in an otherwise compelling title. In Fear I Trust is a journey filled with seductively cinematic sequences, but if you’re looking for a first rate brain twister, you’ve downloaded the wrong game.

Although solving puzzles is a necessary evil with this title, In Fear I Trust's bread and butter lies in the mementos you discover traversing this dour world. Most of my enjoyment came from picking up scraps of notes left on an operating table or in some secluded corner of a room, and then attempting to decipher what the heck is really going on. Whether it's finding a random key, reading a highlighted newspaper article that pertains to the mystery, or even grabbing an unattended flask, every little morsel deepened my interest in this nightmarish story.

The graphics are just as arresting as the actual mystery, as the developers utilize the right mixture of light and shadows to create a haunting, fevered dream that's hard to shake. Along with the spellbinding scenery, the audio is also on a first rate level with In Fear I Trust. Using your headphones during game play is recommended, especially if you want to hear all the random noises that emanate from certain sections of the facility. The scariest sound you'll hear, however, is the sound of your own breath, and getting an auditory feel of one's own exhaustion only adds to the game's creepiness. With a stellar sound and visual design at its core, it's hard to find any fault with In Fear I Trust. Heck, even the curtains look cool.

In Fear I Trust may annoy gamers who love to zip through their apps with unrivaled speed, especially since downloading the title takes a bit longer than expected. Loading times, when one returns to the app, are also a bit slower than average, so if you have places to go and really don't have time to wait, this isn't an iOS experience you'll cherish.

Part of a thriller's allure is to generate scares and unexpected twists within a gradual pace, and on these terms In Fear I Trust is as close to perfect as it gets. For a $2.99 download, I do wish more than two episodes were available during its launch, but maybe that's a case of wanting too much of a good thing. Those are the kind of mysteries I'll never solve, and since I'm still stuck in this facility, I have much bigger fish to fry.

App Store Link: In Fear I Trust for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd. | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0 | 976 MB | Rating 17+

8.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating

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