Among the sleep is a short game by Krillbite Studios, and is a first person horror adventure game where you play as a 2 year old child, it was funded by Kickstarter about a year or two ago and has subsequently found its way to release.
I have to say, I really liked the idea of the game, and initial impressions were good, a game about the horrors encountered as a child, a fear of the dark and all things unknown, and the concept of crawling through this house which is so very different in day and morning.
Unfortunately, Among the Sleep, like many other games, suffers from cool idea, bad execution – or even perhaps, cool idea, but how do we make a game out of this?
The result is a very slow first person horror in the same vain as Frictional games’s Penumbra series a selection of environments with some environmental puzzles, the primary difference is however that in other games of this type you are more vulnerable, things will chase you and so on, but this doesn’t really happen in Among the Sleep, leaving you with just a selection of small jumpscares and spooky environment.
Being a baby and all, the player character moves very slowly, either walking or crawling. Your actions similarly are very simple, you can climb, you can open doors or drawers, and a few other minor things. The game is very much a linear affair, moving the player from X to Y, maybe finding a few items along the way, or otherwise exploring the area for puzzles and locks, before introducing a few enemies before the game ends. It’s all very slow paced, and isn’t particularly fun or engaging – additionally, excessive animation and other story scene stuff will slow you down further without enhancing the gameplay (a few early examples involve having to throw a teddy bear through a door so he can open it, a completely unnecessary scene which takes about 90 seconds to unfold, yet adds nothing to the story or gameplay other than to slow you down)
The environments start off interesting, it was cool to wander around a dark and spooky house, crawling underneath tables and up chests of drawers, however they rapidly turn dreamlike and ultimately less interesting (in my opinion), while I want to say it would have been hard for them to base the entire game in the house, ‘Gone Home’ did it just fine and to great effect.
Graphics are pretty bad, reasonable textures, but pretty boring geometry, could have easily put much more stuff into the environment.
The game runs for about 2 hours – you will likely tire of it long before that.
A very slow and boring horror game, has an interesting premise but fails to do much with it other than annoy the player.
Approximate Game Length : <2 Hours
Actual Worth / Online Price: £0.50 / £15 = 0.03
Should you play it : No, plenty of better games out there in this style, Dream or anything by Frictional Games