Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside is a point and click adventure game for kids with a few educational aspects thrown in. The plot is based on a comic that the main character, Pajama Sam, reads. He is on a mission to venture into his closet and defeat darkness so he won't have to be afraid of the dark anymore. You mainly click around to go to different screens and explore. You can talk to other characters, pick up items, and click on various parts of the environments as well for reactions or clues. And key locations of items are changed between playthroughs, giving it a few different ways to play. There's a lot of voicework in the game, with many characters having multiple dialogues for continued clicks. There's also a good amound of music and lots of sound effects to help go along with the colorful, cartoon style. You'll need to use a bit of problem solving for getting items and figuring out where to use them. There are even a few minigames to try out. Plus, there's a side quest for the more adventurous players to try and collect 10 pairs of socks. The socks are hidden throughout the game so you'll have 20 to try and spot as you search the screens of the game. It's a nice little touch for some extra challenge. Oh, and some of the humor is actually pretty good.
However, there are problems with this game. While there are many things to click on in any given location, a majority of them are simply there as goofy asides. There are typically a variety of different reactions for each item, but all they do is distract you from the main game. They don't really add much atmosphere, instead generally being there to keep kids entertained. It makes sense, sure, but it's not really something I'd call good game design, regardless of the target audience. There are even a few parts that don't have any real point to them, depending on which random set of circumstances the game gives you on your playthrough. Sometimes areas will have things to interact with but no reason to do so. Not that the extra bits aren't nice for a little more world there, or possibly an area to house a sock or two, but they don't feel necessary enough to include without looking at it as padding just a little bit. There also doesn't seem to be much reason to get all the socks. Not that there NEEDS to be a reward, and possibly there is as I missed a few, but it seems like the game just ends and doesn't really give you much incentive to go get them other than just wanting to do it for yourself.
Overall, it's a surprisingly solid game. I just randomly won it in a giveaway and figured it was going to be some lame kids' game. It actually isn't too bad. It could do more, do some things better, and be more challenging... but I understand its for kids that would probably spend more time figuring it out as it is. I didn't grow up with this game. I'm not blinded by nostalgia. I just thought it was genuinely a nice little experience. My only gripe is that it costs 7 bucks. That's a bit steep for this game, unless you're actually getting it for a kid. If you're getting it to check it out and you're not a kid, especially considering it's on Steam, then you're better off waiting for a sale to get it for only a few bucks. I wouldn't say it's worth full price, but if you're curious, it IS worth checking out. Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside gets a 6 out of 10 for being an older game for kids that has held up over the years, even without the nostalgia.