Parents' Guide to

Layers of Fear: Inheritance

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Short yet spooky adventure in dark psychological landscape.

Game Mac , Windows 2016
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This change of perspective deserves high marks for digging deeper into the original story. The main game illustrated a tormented artist's rapid descent into madness and hinted at how that descent affected his wife and daughter. Layers of Fear: Inheritance demonstrates the destructive power mental illness has over a family. Returning to the derelict family house decades after the original events, you pick your way across warped floors and through darkened hallways with nothing but a feeble flashlight to protect you from a flood of painful memories.

Like in the original game, plenty of scares abound as things inexplicably move, furniture topples, and ceilings collapse. Even worse, scares are magnified by randomly triggered flashbacks that transform you from a confident adult to a terrified child. The visual distortions caused by accelerating madness in the first game are here caused by vivid, nightmarish memories of fatherly tirades and vicious arguments. You see firsthand the negative effects dysfunctional relationships have on children, the fear and self-loathing they create. The experience is emotionally charged and highly visceral (sometimes too visceral -- the distortions and bobbing camera can be downright nausea-inducing). Once again, the game does a brilliant job of both leading you and letting you explore, and aside from one or two obscure puzzles, it creates a fluid adventure experience soaked in pure horror.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Mac , Windows
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Aspyr
  • Release date: August 2, 2016
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: August 17, 2016

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