NOTE: I was given the game for free for review purposes.
REVIEW – AMONG THE SLEEP
Developer: Krillbite Studio
Release year: 2014
Among the Sleep is a first-person indie horror game. What really makes the game unique is the fact that instead of playing as a full-grown man / woman, you actually play as a toddler. Yep! The game starts when it's your second birthday and 'yo momma' has baked you a good ol' birthday cake. During the celebration, you will get a birthday present from a person you don't actually get to see. After enjoying a slice of your birthday cake, your mom will leave you to your playpen. As you're playing with your toys, you will find out that the birthday present is a teddy bear that can move and talk like a 'real living person' (magic *snort snort*). You will have fun time playing with him for a while, but soon he wants to show you something. Something you need to see in the dark, and then the game begins...
Because you're a toddler, you can't run from one room to another within seconds or do any 360 no-scope jumps, m8! Instead, you can walk, crawl and run for a very short time until you tumble down. Walking will let you interact with things that are a bit harder to reach while crawling will give you a possibility to fit into tight places. Controls work very well with KB+M, but I can imagine that playing with a controller will give you a much smoother experience.
Graphically the game is good looking and also sound design is immersive. The game mixes these two well and that way manages to create an excellent atmosphere. Just like pretty much in any other horror game, there are some monster encounters. You can't fight as you might imagine, so hiding and escaping are your options. However, I think in this game the "spooky level" is subjective, meaning that for one person the game might be very scary while not so much for another. I personally didn't find the game to be one of the scariest games out there, even though I must admit that the game made me to jump off my chair a few times and that's always a good when it comes to horror related stuff.
Throughout the game, there are some physic based puzzles, but they didn't offer really any challenge. Now, I'm not necessarily sure whether this is a bad thing or not. I mean, you're playing as a toddler after all. The puzzles aren't very hard, but they were fun to do in my opinion and I guess that's what really matters, right?
I always appreciate great horror games with great stories, and I'm glad this is one of them. The story in my opinion is simple and easy to understand. It's touching and even teaching. The ending was amazing and it really made me think about this all, what really happened and what will possibly happen in the future. Without spoiling anything, I just loved it. Absolutely fantastic and unforgettable.
To me, the game has one and only one flaw: it's extremely short. I completed the game in 2,5 hours. I didn't speedrun the game or anything like that, I was just playing the game how it was meant to be played, yet I still finished it so quickly. According to many people, the length for the game is approximately 2-4 hours, and I got no choice but to agree with that one.
In the end, I loved the game. It's a short, but sweet horror experience, although I must admit that the asking price of 20 dollars might be a bit steep for some people and it's understandable. I guess it's up to you to decide whether 2-4 hour long experience is enough to justify the asking price. If you're a horror fan, I highly recommend buying this one. Just bear in your mind that the game won't keep you entertained for weeks. It can be finished in a day or two. Otherwise you should probably wait for a Steam Sale. I'm sure Gabe will do one sooner or later!
☺Simple, well written story
☺Has a unique experience to offer
☺Excellent spooky atmosphere
☹Overall a very short game
The Verdict: "Worth playing"