icon Author: athgadt
Inside the Labs Review

When a bunch of curious teenagers go chasing monsters, where would they investigate? Abandoned labs, of course! No, it isn’t Scooby Doo but the newest take in co-op horror games.

Inside the Labs is a horror indie game developed and published Chreseeba Games. The main objective of the game is to gather information on the mutants and experiments done in these labs. The gameplay can resemble that seen in other games such as Phasmophobia and Demonologist. While there is no story to guide you, and it may seem like you’re mostly just investigating, there is some lore to be found about each specific case and how things turned out to be like they are now.

Core game mechanics:

The game can be played solo or with others, up to 4 players at once. Main goals are usually the same: find the mutation type and some information related to who the mutant used to be. Side goals, however, depend on various factors including difficulty levels and even a bit of luck, and vary from run to run, meaning that in one run you could be searching for a body part, then the next one you have to cure a patient. The gameplay mainly focuses on 4 key areas: investigation, gathering evidence, hiding/stealthing, and puzzle solving.

Let me break those four down so it becomes easier to understand: 

  • Investigating - straightforward and the core of the game. You’re main objective is to investigate what has occurred whether it is alone or accompanied by a team.

  • Gathering Evidence - while this may seem simple to do, it can be tricky at times depending on the map, mutant and side objectives thrown at you. Also, the required evidence can change from subject to subject and with everything set on the map at random, prepare to be doing a lot of running around.

  • Hide/stealth - as with similar games of this genre, when the enemy, in this case the mutant, is in pursuit or actively hunting, you either hide or try to run for your life. The doors will lock so escaping is impossible during those moments.

  • Puzzle solving - puzzles in the labs vary and the player can expect anything from fixing broken pipes to deciphering codes in a computer. Some puzzles will provide you with pieces of information while others will just help make your time inside the lab a more comfortable experience so to say.   

Character and Map Options

While there are no character customization options, the game does a good job at giving you some variety to choose from and as you make progress, more characters become available. Bare in mind that each character has specific skills to aid you in the labs, so choose carefully who you want to be. Currently there are four map options, each with their own particularity. 


You know how in Phasmo you have a shop where you buy your gear from? Well, let's just say here you find the stuff around the labs. A money system was recently implemented and a shop was opened for things like masks, bags and light sticks. These items aren’t needed but the bags can be nice to have since they let you carry one more specific item, depending on the bag you choose. The items found around the map are random too and it can, at times be the reason you die. A simple example is needing an antidote to heal yet failing to find one and dying due to the injuries sustained. You can also only carry one of each specific item, so forget about hoarding batteries or med kits, not gonna happen.

Leveling and Upgrades

So one good and bad thing the game has is the level system. Yes, it’s both good and bad because depending on how proficient you are, you can raise your level very fast or stay stuck in level 1 for quite a while. If you die you get barely, if any, experience, no matter if you got the mutation type right before falling to your demise. That being said, the game offers players some extra challenges that upon completing will grant a great amount of XP that can boost you up a couple of levels in just one run. I saw someone go from Level 1 to Level 6 in just one run due to this. Leveling your character not only unlocks other characters but provides that character with some slight upgrade to their “ability”, whether it is carrying an extra battery or better stamina.

Alongside leveling, the player can get ready to experience the labs in 4 different difficulty settings: easy, normal, hard, and insane. The latter two are timed. The higher the difficulty, the more objectives to complete on the run and the trickier it gets to find items around. Insane is basically a “do everything” run with limited resources and while timed. 


Inside the Labs has two types of enemies. The first type, I’ll call the runners, while the second type is the hunter. The runners, also described as creatures, are basically enemies that roam around the labs. They won’t chase you but will hurt you if you get too close which in turn also alerts the hunter. The hunter, or mutant, is the one to fear. With 7 different mutant types, you’re never safe since at any given moment, you could be faced with an instant kill. The designs for both runners and the hunters is great and keeps evolving! My favorites are probably the baby runners and the weird creature with no torso. 


Of course when you die it’s game over for you but here you can actually help your team even from the great beyond! Instead of turning into a mere spectator, the labs turn you into a rat. A literal lab rat! As a rat, you are free to roam all around the map, squeak and even use your walkie to warn your team of dangers or guide them to objectives. Surprisingly, I enjoyed my time exploring as a rat, even if I couldn’t interact with anything.

Bonus: Cats!  

So you become a rat? Well, the game also randomly generates a cat in some runs that can actually kill you once you turn into a rat. No point since you already get no XP but it might be fun to get killed twice in the same run. However, as a human you can pet and feed the kitty, which I found completely adorable.


You can play with your choice between keyboard and mouse or controller. Although controller integration is still lacking a bit, especially when navigating menus or exiting notes. Other than that, the controls used for the game are simple to learn and use. The only thing that took me a bit to understand was how to properly set traps down but once I got it, everything else fell into place. Important to note that your view is in first person (until you become a rat) and there are camera movements.


 (On a scale of 1-5, being 5 the absolute best)

The game does some great things but is still improving on others. The graphics are honestly good and the monsters are unique. The map designs are also really well done with some maps feeling like a maze. The sounds are alright but I wish they were used more to indicate when a mutant is coming or close by. The horror aspect is a bit of a hit and miss, depending on how comfortable and used the player is to this sort of game. One thing that sets the mood for a creepy environment is the light, or lack thereof. The labs are very dark and there are no brightness settings so the player must learn to navigate with their flashlight. While the game is fully released, it is still undergoing significant changes so by the time I’m writing this some things may be different. 

All in all, I enjoyed playing Inside the Labs. My time as a lab rat taught me lots. It can get frustrating not to gain any XP upon dying but I guess that also toughens the player up. While there are traps and alarms to divert the mutant, it is very hard to outrun them if they’re close to you. Currently the only way to use an item (besides the traps) is to go to the inventory and pick it, it would be great if the player could set down buttons for their chosen items, such as battery, antidotes or med kits. Out of everything, the most annoying aspect of the game was finding antidotes to heal up, they sure were scarce! This is the first game from Chreseeba so I really applaud how well done the game is. If it could include some more lore, perhaps more maps, it would definitely be worth 5 stars. Finally, to me, this game is best enjoyed with a group of friends that like having fun. That way, you can hear them scream when the mutant is hunting! 

Available now on:


No comments yet
Latest comments