Among the Sleep

2014
0

Think what sets Among the Sleep apart from most games is its decision to place the player in the shoes of a child. Not only that, but the game never breaks away from the conceit. This is how Among the Sleep defines itself amongst the horror landscape. Written words are merely gibberish, everything is too big and too high, and the only constant in the child’s journey to save his mysteriously absent mother is a talking teddy bear. All of these aspects combine to create a sense of innocent terror; forget the fact that there is a shadowy figure prowling the environments you roam.

There is a lot to love about the way Among the Sleep presents itself, but it is also a game that attempts to have a strong thematic presence. The game opens with your birthday being interrupted by a noise at the door, which results in your mother becoming scared and putting you in your room. Once there, you discover a teddy bear who talks to you and teaches you how to play the game. The game offers a neat idea of hide-and-seek. Pausing the game simply has the child put his hands over his eyes, making everything stop, with him removing his hands as soon as you unpause. Once again, a neat flourish that adds to the immersion. When your mother mysteriously disappears and Teddy brings you on a journey to find her, however, is when the game starts falling apart.

For a two hour game, Among the Sleep offers so little in terms of gameplay until its very end that it’s clear there was no idea as how to make a game starring a child interesting. The mystery of where your mother had gone and the creepy noises plaguing the character were intended to be enough reason for progression. The final chapter is when all the variation in mechanics start happening which is satisfying then, but getting there requires grinding through a lot of repetition – something which players will notice the moment it begins. The entire set up is that players must collect four memories of their mother to place in some magical tube in a clubhouse. The objective is outlined and so painfully obvious that it means the game will end after those memories are collected. The issue is that getting the first two memories is easy and uninteresting; the third memory is where the game then gates players behind another group of collectibles to obtain. That is the variation offered within that memory.

As I mentioned, it’s getting the fourth memory and the rest of the game afterwards that breaks from monotony and tries to take advantage of its unique perspective. The gameplay ranges from stealth, to carnival-like games, to light puzzles that all maintain a sense of wonder in the environment, but also bring something fresh to a game that felt like it had nothing to offer besides a neat hook. The weird thing is that Teddy reminds the player to be quiet often, presumably to avoid being detected by the evil spirits trying to kill the player. Since I was a child and moved faster when crawling, I basically never encountered a spirit until I decided that, as someone reviewing a game, I should probably at least see what happens when you die. If you’re like me, though, you’ll probably breeze through the game having few encounters with anything remotely threatening–besides boredom.

What matters about Among the Sleep is that it isn’t afraid to shy away from more mature themes, despite its innocent protagonist. There is a whole adult world out there, which makes itself known to the player by the end of his harrowing experience. Though powerful in theory, the impact of its execution is lacking because of such a monumentally boring experience. Is something too high up? Pull over a chair or open a drawer; that’s basically one of the only obstacles you will face when running through the short story of Among the Sleep. Even with such a minor obstacle, it becomes annoying far too quickly.

The ambiance and aesthetics of the game offer up some chilling atmosphere, but it isn’t enough to make up for Among the Sleep‘s lack of momentum in its story, and lack of variety–and abundance of repetition–in its gameplay. It has something to say, but that barely accounts for the fact that it is still a video game. It is clear that there are things that the game could have done to alleviate its repetitious manner based on the fact that neat ideas for a child-centric horror game are found in the final chapter. Nothing of interest from that later chapter appears in any of the previous content, which makes Among the Sleep a tirelessly repetitive experience that will either hook you with the promise of a narrative, or leave you falling asleep.

OTHER GAMES REVIEWS

Ghost Theory

An Indie Video-Game First-Person, Adventure, Horror Taking you on "Ghost-Hunting and "Paranormal-Research" Featuring Real-World haunted locations! From "Prague" "Czech" "Dreadlocks Ltd" We give you today the game "Ghost Theory" "Dreadlocks Ltd" that developed before "Rune Legend" Formed in 2011 And it's most recent Release, "Dex", an action Role-Playing Game! Even though this is a horror game, ghosts won't appear without provocation! Your task is to find out ghosts and to meet their objectives You'll have many Gadgets, interacting with objects! And you'll see so much more horror! The game'll be released on "PS4", "PC" and "XONE" At Q4 2017 "Be patient! Explore! Observe!" These are the words of "Professor Frost" Your mentor and head... Read More

Overkill's The Walking Dead

Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a tie in to the well-known series created by Robert Kirkman and to the #1 AMC hit show of the same name. The game will be incorporating the primary theme of survival horror, as well as elements like role-playing, action, and stealth; it “invites players to explore the hugely popular The Walking Dead universe, where they will play the role of survivors fending for themselves in a post apocalyptic world dominated by flesh-eating walkers.” The game will be set in the fall in Washington. Delays for Overkill Software’s anticipated co-op FPS, The Walking Dead are, at this point, unsurprising. The game was first announced back in 2014 and has been subjected to tentative... Read More

Call of Cthulhu

Developed by Cyanide Studios, Call of Cthulhu is an "upcoming RPG-investigation game," according to the game's description. In the trailer, we see private investigation Edward Pierce slowly losing grip on reality, but left unsure whether or not the things he's seeing are hallucinations... or something more.  Call of Cthulhu, the official video game of the tabletop of the same name released a trailer this week showing off its new look. From the trailer description: "In today’s trailer, plunge into the troubled mind of private investigator Edward Pierce, as his perception of reality becomes more and more skewed the closer he gets to the Great Dreamer’s sphere of influence. Clutch to your withering sanity to... Read More

The Evil Within

I end up rather clashed about The Evil Within, the most recent game from Resident Evil maker Shinji Mikami. This may well be on account of The Evil Within is from multiple points of view a clashed game all by itself. It is at the same time a reverence to and a separating from Mikami’s most basically acclaimed creation, the splendid Resident Evil 4.  It is goal-oriented yet likewise preservationist, actually radiant yet additionally frustratingly confined. It contains many incredible little minutes, yet winds up feeling like short of what the entirety of its parts. So it is maybe obvious that I was both excited and frustrated by it. This inquisitive mixture of respect and repudiation is clear inside the diversion’s initial... Read More

Evolve Alpha

Indeed this occasion has been unimaginably built up. I lost number of what number of messages I got from Evolve both paving the way to the occasion and amid the weekend. In any case notwithstanding all the buildup it unquestionably has not been plain-cruising for 2k games. The Ps4 occasion has just barely started, with issues evidently ascribed to the last Ps4 redesign. The PC rendition has had a few patches to attempt and enhance matchmaking and association drop outs. Numerous disappointed players took to twitter and the web to vent their dissatisfaction.  Maybe through all the buildup individuals have overlooked this is just an alpha. Be that as it may, regardless of myself succumbing to a few issues, I did figure out how... Read More

Zombie Army Trilogy

Zombies have been the perpetual whipping young men of the shooter sort for some time now, and it was certain that sooner or later they’d get squashed up with Nazis – second in the gun feed class table – to make a definitive blame free focuses to impact away at.  While Zombie Army Trilogy on the PC is a long way from the first to wheel out these undead fascists, it does endeavor to convey a novel twist to the fights against its undead army, by utilizing a significant number of the mechanics from the Sniper Elite recreations – including its scandalous murder cam. This discharge is really a re-mastering of two bits of PC selective substance, with the expansion of a just took the ribbon off new third battle section to round out... Read More