11 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 2.6 hrs on record
Posted: Jun 15 @ 6:44am

Developed and published by Krillbite Studio, an indie team from Norway, Among the Sleep is a unique take on the puzzle horror genre. You play as a toddler that just turned two years old; in the middle of celebrating your birthday with your mom, a stranger shows up at your door bearing a gift for you. Of course, it's your very own Teddy. You end up going on the adventure of your lifetime with your new best friend, who serves to help keep you safe from the ever-looming malicious entities of the worlds you're about to explore.

Saying a lot about Among the Sleep would be giving away all of its secrets, so this review will be kept fairly brief. It's impressive just how accurately Krillbite Studio were able to nail the mechanics of being a barely walking toddler. You move faster while you're in a crawling position, but you can still run if you're standing and walking; running for too long makes you fall down, however. You also have to push and pull objects to create paths to climb up, using items such as chairs and ottomans to crawl up to unlock doors. Rather than a flashlight, you can remove your Teddy from your back and hug him to have him cast a warm, safe light around you. One really cool small detail is that every item that would have words on it has them written in gibberish, since obviously a two year old doesn't know how to read yet.

There are five levels in total, with four of them having to be explored to find memories of your mother so that you can make progress towards finding her. Most of the puzzles simply involve making your way through the level, while climbing drawers, dressers, chairs, and ottomans to reach items that you need such as keys and glowing shapes. There are also drawings dispersed through each location, and although they do nothing but give you achievements if you happen to find all of them, they do add some incentive to explore the game to its fullest. For the most part, exploration doesn't feel like a chore since you're not constantly being hunted, and the environments are well detailed with a unique feel to each of them.

In the end, there is an unexpected plot buried within the puzzles and mild walking simulator gameplay that Among the Sleep carries. In the hundreds of horror games that I've played, I cannot once recall playing as a toddler; that in itself is a unique feature worth checking out, especially since it's so well done. Even though the story isn't totally spelled out while the game progresses, there are drawings on walls and other subtle hints to help guide your mind along what is happening. It's a slow burner for sure, and one that some players may find dull, but one that's worth carrying on with if you like a unique experience.

Rating: 4.0/5.0 - Excellent, highly worth playing.
The Horror Network Curator | Group Click for Gore
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