[PS4 Review] Among The Sleep
Krillbite Studios took Among The Sleep to Kickstarter initially as a PC exclusive title asking for $200K in 2013 the sailed past the base goal and gained an extra 49K on top. One of their stretch goals was support for VR, which is now off the table due to some unforeseen technical difficulties. Among The Sleep is a first person horror game. You assume the role of a male toddler who, even though he has just celebrated his second birthday, still can’t talk.
Upon starting the game, a cutscene plays out with the young protagonist sitting in the baby highchair as mom is preparing a birthday cake. You have just turned two today… congratulations!. A knock on the door distracts mom from finishing feeding you your cake, but then she comes back with a surprise birthday present for you. She picks you up and places you into the baby playpen, and it is then that you take control of the protagonist. You are now free to explore your cute little room! You learn how to crawl, walk, interact with objects, and climb on furniture.
There are several environments to explore. You have your room, the whole house, the cave and the forest to name a few. There are also some puzzle elements added here and there, but nothing too taxing. For example, to reach the treehouse you need to collect a set number of items, so you just need to look around your environment to find them. That is pretty much the sort of puzzles you can expect from Among The Sleep. There aren’t very many puzzles because the main aspect of the game is to explore and find your mom who disappeared from her bed in the middle of the night.
Among The Sleep is not a true horror game per se, but imagine how you’d feel if you were a two-year-old boy and your mother disappears in the middle of the night without any explanation and you are suddenly on your own with no one to turn to and no one to ask for help because you can barely speak. All you have is your trusty teddy bear. How scared would you be if you had to search a dark house in the middle of the night? I’d be pretty scared!
Sure, there are some small jump scares and weird happenings but not in the sense of a proper horror game. The game world looks huge from a toddler’s perspective. You will need to use chairs or stools to reach door handles or drawers to climb onto surfaces to give you a greater height to do what you need to do to find your mom. Sometimes you will need help from your trust friendly teddy bear who is always happy to help you.
During the game, there will be moments where your protagonist may feel scared so you’ll need to hug the teddy bear to make him glow so that you can see better in the dark which is pretty handy since a two-year-old won’t be able to handle a torch, right? So when in really dark sections of the game just hug the teddy bear to find your way!
The cute surreal locations are pretty awesome, and while the story is a little on the weak side the exploration aspect is absolutely fantastic, and this is despite the game only being around two-three hours long. For this reason, the game is slightly overpriced. During the Kickstarter campaign, there was a stretch goal for some DLC content that was never hit. It is possible this extra content could one day make its way over to consoles if sales are well enough. The game is very fun, and the graphics are absolutely gorgeous. There are some cute collectible drawings to find, and the trophy set is very easy it is mostly collectible-related, so search every nook and cranny from that easy 100%!
I highly recommend the game – it is fun, spooky, and you get to play from the perspective of a two-year-old boy, which certainly makes it a very nice change of pace from all other releases you’ve played so far.