In Fear I Trust puts you in the role of someone who wakes up in a mysterious facility with no recollection of how they got there. By exploring the environment around you, the reasoning behind why you’re there and what happened to you start becoming more apparent. If the storyline sounds a bit familiar, you’ve probably played a game just like this before.
As you explore, you pick up notes, tapes, photos, and all sorts of other items that not only move the story forward, but may help you solve some of the puzzles that you come across later. However, most of the items you pick up are just that: items you pick up. Some of them will help, others won’t. When you’re really stuck, you have the option of going into what the game calls “Retrospective” mode. Being in retrospective mode allows you to see things that weren’t apparent to you before, like something on the walls, or possibly the clue to solving a puzzle. It’s quite handy to use when there were no other options available.
Even with that kind of assistance, however, it still feels like trial and error. For a game with puzzles as the main focus of the experience, the puzzles here are just too vague. Most times it felt as though the only way to find the solution was to guess, and this is after looking at all of the items I’d collected and going into retrospective mode. The solutions that you’re looking for don’t always turn up in the ways you would think, and that really slows down the experience, which already suffers from issues with pacing.
Since they put the word “fear” in the title, you might expect the game to have some sort of mechanic to make the player uncomfortable, or at least place the idea in a players head that they have to be on high alert. In Fear I Trust doesn’t really accomplish that. Instead, it relies on the graphics and sound to create the tension. I’m not implying that there needs to be some sort of action aspect, but with no real consequences for picking the wrong action, or using the wrong item, there’s no real way to lose, which eliminates the tension I expected to feel.
Throw in some clunky feeling controls, unnecessary touch gestures, and an incredibly slow pace, and it’s hard to get into the flow of the game and enjoy it for what it is. Perhaps players who have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the adventure game genre will find something to enjoy within In Fear I Trust. The story may be just enough to pull players in, but for others, you may want to look elsewhere for your adventure game fix.