Among the Sleep - Enhanced Edition Reviews

  • JRPGsForTheWinJRPGsForTheWin135,593
    04 Jun 2016 07 Jun 2016
    26 1 3
    I was intrigued when I first read about Among the Sleep. The way I thought about it was that it could either turn out to be a mere novelty experience or something truly original.

    As far as the gameplay goes, it is quite simple. This is a first-person puzzler where the puzzles offer very little challenge. The only real challenge here is trying to locate all of the collectables without using a guide. I managed that, so I guess that really could not have been that difficult of a task.

    While I often wanted to laugh at the absurdity of a two-year-old protagonist platforming like a fucking pro, the atmosphere created a distance between my adult logic and my childhood nightmares. While the gameplay is nothing to write home about, the implied disturbances in this toddler's household experience are more than enough to qualify this as the feel-bad game of the year. Very little of what is actually going on is written in stone until the last few minutes of the game, and while it certainly is not a major shocker, I actually found the experience to be profoundly depressing.

    But as a horror game, I certainly did appreciate the emphasis on thick atmosphere over gratuitous gore. The age of the protaganist made it all the more intense in my experience. I totally understood that this was a nightmare world, but it tapped into some fears I remembered having when I was incredibly young.

    In the end, I do not know how to recommend this to others. The gameplay has quite a few bugs that had me reloading checkpoints. The graphics would be solid on the 360. The running time is short. Most of the achievements are collectable-based. The puzzles are so simple that many of them do not even qualify as puzzles.

    The real question is this - are you in this for a solid game or for a solid narrative? This is not a solid game. But the narrative overflows with conceptual mastery. This clearly was a game that was scripted by very smart people, coupled with enough atmospheric uneasiness to shake me for a few stretches of the gameplay, only to be served with Fisher Price grade level design.

    I love this as an experience, but not as a game. There really is nothing else like this out there. I do not know if I can give it a seal of approval, but I would never discourage anybody from giving it a go if they know what they are in for.
    3.5
    Showing all 3 comments.
    Draco719Agreed with everything you said. My biggest complaint was the sound quality, it was extremely poor.
    Posted by Draco719 on 07 Jun 16 at 19:38
    russolini77I'm really quite enjoying it; it helps that I read your review first and set myself up to be a bit more aware of what I was in store for. I'm finding it creepy but not scary or horror-based, and it's certainly unique in that it's a game from the perspective of a toddler. Well written review.
    Posted by russolini77 on 09 Feb 17 at 08:43
    GoetheKatzchenI'm looking forward to getting it the next time it goes on sale. I like experiences over games sometimes.
    Posted by GoetheKatzchen on 10 Aug 20 at 00:20
  • FullMoonBeaverFullMoonBeaver1,189,030
    04 Jun 2016 04 Jun 2016
    12 2 11
    Welcome to my review for Among the Sleep

    Developer: Krillbite Studios
    Publisher: Krillbite Studios
    Release date: June 8th
    Price: £11.99

    Among the Sleep is an Indie game that was funded via Kickstarter, and after releasing on Steam, has finally found its way to consoles. What sets this game apart from other Indie games, is your protagonist. You take the controls of a 2 year old child. Not the usual protagonist of a psychological horror game.

    The game eases you in gently, with feeding time on your birthday, and you will soon receive your present, but before you get chance to open it, you are whisked off to your bedroom after your mother takes a call at the door. Here you will quickly learn the controls, and it becomes apparent that crawling is faster than trying to walk or run. The latter will end up with you falling over if you run for too long. One of the first experiences you will discover is your sidekick Teddy. Not only will he help light the way in dark portions of he game, but he can talk as well. I found him to be a bit creepy and sinister at first, under the presumption he had ulterior motives. But this was not the case, as he is genuinely there for you.

    Once this is all over, you will be put to bed, and you adventure will finally begin your journey into Among The Sleep. You will be awoken from your slumber to see an invisible force slowly dragging Teddy away from you and your sleeping cot. Your eyes open and close slowly to reveal your bedroom door opening slowly on its own accord, when all of a sudden, your cot gets dragged with a purpose across your bedroom floor, and suddenly, is tipped on it's side dumping you hard on the floor awakening you from your slumber. Now the adventure begins, through 4 chapters of a nightmare, in your mission to find your mother. Whose screams can be heard in the distance, along with creepy scripted events, such as doors opening and closing, inanimate objects moving of their own volition, and a visual terror, of a distorted creature with bright glowing eys that will turn out to stalk you as you progress further in your adventure.

    The first port of call after leaving your bedroom is to find Teddy. But door handles are out of reach for such a small human. A simple solution is to find an object to climb up on a stool or chair, enabling you to reach the elusive handle. Those of you with children of this age will have first hand experience of this, like myself. Mine climb everywhere.

    Once you find Teddy, whose location may not be entirely obvious at first, is to venture downstairs. The dark and foreboding atmosphere of the house will keep you on your toes as you double check shadows within the shadows. The atmopheric nature will always have that effect of creeping you out just enough without being a truly scary experience such as Outlast is.

    Once in your mothers bedoroom, it is here you will find out a little more of what is to come in your journey. I wont spoil it for you, as it is something best left to a personal experience.

    You will finally arrive at the end of the chapter in a cupboard, and the static floating and washed out colours will reveal a precious memory for you to collect, before you can continue on to a safe sanctuary, which is your playhouse in the Playground chapter.

    Speaking of chapters, they are easy to navigate, and puzzles are kept simple. Which is a bonus considering you are a 2 year old child in his sleep suit. Tthere are no major dangers within Among The Sleep, aside from the mysterious creature stalking you, falls, and water. The creature will feature more prominently as your journey comes to the Closet chapter. Hiding out of sight is your best friend here, whether that be under some furniture, or inside a closet.

    It is a short game, and 2-3 hours is an expected play through time. But that is not to say that you should just run through as quickly as possible, oh no. I thoroughly enjoyed my time within Among The Sleep. I felt dragged into the world of our tiny adventurer, and all the jump scares, were timed perfectly. Krillbite have created a fantastic Indie game, and one that people should experience one way or another at some point within the future.

    Graphics: It is a dark game, with many shadows being able to hide the lack of detail, but this is a clever move on behalf of Krillbite, allowing them to focus attention elsewhere. But what you can see which they have created, is above the average for an Indie game. Some areas may not have a huge amount of detail, but graphics are not the most important aspect here.

    Music/FX: Here is where the game excels, despite the lack of a big musical number. Creepy sound effetcs generate a creepy atmospheric presence, as you wander through Among The Sleep. Along with sudden noises, and that distorted screech will have you running for cover as quickly as your tiny legs can carry you, as you will soon find out where that is eminating from.

    Longevity: As mentioned before, it is not a long game by any stretch of the imagination. But this is not to say you should avoid it. Whether you rush to buy it now, or wait for a sale. You owe it to yourself to play this game. Puzzles ar easy to navigate past, and it will offer you no trouble whatsoever. Krillbite want you to experience the entirety of their creation.

    Achievements: This is why many people will be picking this game up. Mmostly collectable achievements, which are drawings of a child like nature. Easy to find, and barely off the beaten path. Completing the game, and a couple of potentially missable achievements. Most are obvious and in front of you. Like the one for scoring a strike. This should be the first you unlcok. The musical instruments is easy too, and can be unlocked by the second chapter. On the whole, a very easy 1000g to add to your collection and a great game.

    Summary: I have enjoyed Among The Sleep, and cannot praise the game enough. It may not be everyones cup of tea, what with the lack of action within the game, but if you are looking for something new to experience, and don't mind the change of pace, then maybe it is for you. I for one, hope Krillbite continue to make more games of this calibre.

    I award Among The Sleep 9/10 or 4.5 stars. Whichever you prefer.

    Thank you to Krillbite for providing me with a review code for the game.

    Here is my video review
    4.5
  • Mr VelezbianMr Velezbian353,966
    04 Jun 2016 04 Jun 2016
    7 0 1
    AMONG THE SLEEP


    You are going to want your mommy....

    The majority of fear is naturally derived from the mind, and specifically ones imagination. Our minds react to the things that go bump in the dark in a way that makes us imagine the worst possibilities in a situation. Imagination, and fear for that matter, can take many shapes. Through the eyes of a 2 year old, imagination and fear can be a dangerous combination. In Among the Sleep, you'll face just that as you take control of a toddler in an immersive horror-adventure. Though not the scariest game I have ever played, Among the Sleep has some terrifying moments and a praiseworthy conclusion that make it worth the trip.

    It's your second birthday, and everything is going great so far. There’s cake and a smiling mother, what else can you ask for? Then a knock at the door draws your mother away, and she returns upset, but bearing a gift for you. You are taken to your room and left to play, and are greeted by your present, a talking teddy bear. Though other worldly, he is on your side in the long run. After being swept away to bed soon after by your mother, you are abruptly awaken when your crib tips over. Your mom is missing, and it’s up to you and your bear to find out where she is. This is where the nightmare begins for the young child and the player.

    Among the Sleep is definitely a scary game, but one that is unfortunately inconsistently so. The intro was a strong start, but quickly muddled by a dull second chapter. The third chapter is arguably the best and scariest, with the fourth being a close second. While crawling my way through some dark environments, my imagination usually got the best of me. I often got spooked at the creak of some wood, when moments later I would realize it was just the surface I walked on. The aforementioned third chapter is where the game truly takes shape, as it features a physical monster that you have to avoid to survive. Many horror genre games make you feel helpless, but when you are a two year old child it doesn't get much more helpless than that. This worked in the games favor, for when I felt I was in danger, I practically just had to accept it which is terrifying all on its own.

    The game is mostly dark, but when you get closer to the visuals they too are inconsistent. Some textures are bland while others don't look half bad. The title doesn’t push any boundaries when it comes to the tech but it holds its own. Unfortunately, some issues break through and show themselves ever so apparently. One issue I ran into often was some frame rate stutters during movement. At one climactic point, the game became so jagged and slowed down that I could not tell what was happening. There is also some pestering glitches that were apparent. I became stuck several times throughout the course of the game when I would climb onto certain surfaces. Another glitch occurred later in the game, this time having to do with collectable drawings. Normally when found, they disappear and an assuring tune plays. For the last chapter, none of my found collectables were actually collected so to speak, though I do think the game technically recognized them because it auto saved. These issues were not the worst I have ever dealt with but did effect the overall flow of everything.

    The games underlying themes are brought to a stellar conclusion, which I won't get to into because of spoiler reasons. I will say, however, that the conclusion is a scary real world problem, not one that is of fantasy like the majority of the game. Krillbite tackled this in a unique way, one that reflects on the innocence of children and their imaginations. During my roughly 3 hours playing through Among the Sleep, I crawled, awkwardly ran, and hugged my bear to my heart’s content all in the name of figuring out where my mother was. I definitely appreciate the material at hand, but I wanted a more in-tune experience. Anyone looking for a solid romp in a haunted house can rely on Among the Sleep to get the job done though, and it is certainly a success for the genre in the long run.

    *Note: A copy of the game was provided by the developer for the purposes of the review

    7/10
    +Unique Experience
    +Some Strong Segments
    -Technical Issues
    -… but also some really weak segments

    http://www.player2reviews.com/among-the-sleep-review.html


    This review was originally posted on Player2Reviews.com, my personal site where you can find more of my original writings.

    Release Date: 6/3/2016
    Developer: Krillbite Studio
    Publisher: Krillbite Studio
    3.5