Among The Sleep

Review

Developer & Publisher: Krillbite Studio
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, PS4, Xbox One
Mode: Single Player, First Person
Genre: Survival horror, action-adventure
Available Now
By Matthew Watts

“Whats up fellow game lovers? I’m back with something completely new for you. This time round, I am reviewing an entirely different game compared to others I have reviewed. In this article I will be reviewing a strange, eerie yet compelling and heart-string tugging game called Among the Sleep. What makes the game so interesting? What drew me to it? What can you take away from this game? Read on, and you shall see what an intrigue this game can be” – Matthew Watts

What’s the story?

The story is very simple in this game. You play a nameless toddler, only just celebrating his birthday, when he receives a teddy bear. This is no ordinary teddy bear. This one walks, talks and interacts with almost everything you see. Whether this teddy is actually alive or is the toddler’s imagination is down to your interpretation. The teddy joins you on a strange journey through dark, terrifying worlds to unravel the story within. Popping up every now and then is your mother, but not everything is as it seems. There are some problems, but these problems will make more and more sense to you as you progress through the story.

The things you will see, are they all a nightmare? Is it actually happening? Is it the child’s life, and emotions and feelings are translating it very differently for the child? Or is it the imagination of a very young child? You are the judge.

Beauty. Horrifying beauty

Seeing the graphics of this game, one might marvel at the level of beauty in the design. The environments are beautifully horrifying, the simplistic look of characters and objects work wonderfully for story concept. That is to say, that children of a very young age don’t notice detail, as that is something that develops over time as they get older. There is really any need for a high level of graphic sophistication. It works for what you are playing, and it looks gorgeous. Full of vibrant colours, and dark tones, it is a joy to observe.

The sound of fear

Due to the nature of the game, there isn’t that much in the way of dialogue. The dialogue that you do hear is from your faithful teddy bear, and your mother. With the age the child is at, don’t be expecting anything coherent coming from the child’s mouth, unless you’re expecting the odd bit of babble. Though i doubt anyone can understand the talk of a toddler. I still need a translator for my own child.

Music plays an important role in the game. It sets the tone for situations. Come naptime, you will hear the gentle and soothing tones of a music box. When something bad is about to happen, you will hear some unsettling music, amongst other things that will unsettle you. I find that it helps to try and get into the mindset of a small child, as strange as that might sound. It’s not easy, but it certainly helps build the tension.

Play time!

Gameplay is very easy, with a range of interactions to choose from. You can move furniture, switch on lights to reveal things, you can even climb and manipulate objects such as bookcases to help you reach your destination. In terms of story, there are many frightening things to experience. I for one, jumped out of my skin a fair few times, and i don’t scare easily. As mentioned before, if you can get yourself into a much younger mindset, you can certainly feel a range of emotions from this game, everything from happiness, to sadness, to fear.

It’s a short game, lasting not even 10 hours, but for the price, and the simplicity of the game, long hours are not needed to enjoy this experience.

Pro’s and cons

Pro’s:
  1. Compelling and interesting story
  2. It really affects you on some deep levels
  3. For a game of this kind of design, it isn’t too long
Cons:
  1. Linear structure
  2. Sometimes it isn’t easy to manipulate the environment
  3. You can become lost while finding your way through each section

Overall

B for Brilliant

This game can really make you think. As a father, it helped me to understand things from my own child’s perspective. What they see, and what they hear can be 2 different things. Those without children of their own can also have a grasp on how frightening the world can be for small child, but luckily there is always that one thing that can be a guiding light. Is it perhaps a metaphor for life? Or does the game help gain perspective? Everyone interprets things in their own way, so if you want to find out what the game says to you, i suggest you play it for yourself.

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