Welcome to my review for Among the Sleep
Developer: Krillbite Studios
Publisher: Krillbite Studios
Release date: June 8th
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