<Console: PlayStation 4
* Atmosphere is very stylistic and definitely creepy
* Does a great job of putting the player in the perspective of a toddler
* Enjoyed the attention to detail
* Never truly feels challenging
* After the first few levels I found myself just going through the motions
Among the sleep is an interesting title to say the least. Not very often are you able to take control of a toddler and wander around a creepy dream world. Among the Sleep began as a Kickstarter Project that flourished into a popular PC title and has now been brought to the PlayStation 4 with the Xbox One version soon to follow.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with this title, but I was very much looking forward to diving into it. I was aware that I would be playing from the perspective of a toddler, but that was honestly about it.
With this novelty aside how does the game hold on? Let’s find out…
This is easily where Among the Sleep shines the most. The color palette and lighting in this game manages to create a terrific atmosphere that not only heightens the tension, but also allows for almost any frame to be used as a screenshot or selling point.
I rather enjoyed seeing the game through a toddler’s eyes…. Well at least for a while. I can’t stress enough on exactly how well done this aspect of the game is. Walking through a dimly lit kitchen and seeing the ambient lighting from the half open refrigerator sets the mood perfectly. Seeing a door knob that you want to open and it being just barely out reach was something to get used to. Luckily you are able to slide over a chair, table or even open a drawer to allow you to climb just high enough to accomplish these tasks that we take for granted in every other first person title.
Having mechanics like these also serve to spark a level of curiosity that is so very common in children of this age and I was constantly impressed on the various ways Killbite managed to capture the essence of being a child through the use of these tricks. When your mother steps out of the room the screen shakes to portray a sense of anxiety. When thunder cracks in the night sky the controller vibrates and that same sense of screen distortion is also briefly present. Much like how a toddler reacts to things, events in this game appear to be exaggerated just enough to heighten the senses and create a perfect amount of tension.
I spent the first hour or so just marveling over small things like this that didn’t really have to even be in the game, but was added to help with the immersion factor. One of my other favorite things was the fact that you are able to see the individual letters on blocks, but words in books or sentences are unrecognizable. Makes sense doesn’t it?
Single Player: B
Here’s where things start to take a tumble for me. As much as I was impressed with the initial presentation and first few levels, I never felt like the game progressed like it should in terms of gameplay.
Essentially after being awoken in the middle of the night you are tossed into a dream world in search of items that represent your memories and ultimately are trying to locate your mother. The only companion throughout the game is your brand new Teddy Bear that talks and goes through these experiences with you. This bear also has the ability to comfort you when you need it the most. By this I am referring to the bear providing a small amount of ambient light when cradled in the child’s arms. Once again I thought this was another great use of interpreting a child’s mindset and comfort level.
The game is pretty much level after level of navigating through obstacles and finding a particular item that will be taken back to the central hub and allowing you to advance. I suppose this isn’t really a bad thing, but I never felt as engaged as I did first seeing the world and discovering a lot of the small things that I mentioned above. Luckily the game is about the perfect length for a title of this nature and with an interesting enough story it never wears out its welcome.
Replay Value: C
This is open to interpretation more so than the others I think. Will I ever play this again? Probably not, but I don’t know that it’s a fault of the game. While I was curious of this title and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, after spending a handful of hours with it I wasn’t surprised at all with anything but the ending. I enjoyed my time with this title, but I don’t see much incentive for me to go back and experience it again.
It is worth noting that there has been one piece of DLC that has been included in the PS4 version, which is a prologue that takes places in an entirely different setting.
Again I enjoyed my time with this game and look forward to seeing future titles from Killbite. I believe they did a stellar job at bringing this unique title to the PS4 and made quite a few great improvements over the PC version. I honestly feel that this title is a unique experience that everyone should at least look into and is well worth the price point.