From the creator of Rock Band™ and Amplitude™ comes a fresh new approach to the traditional shoot 'em up! All the action is driven by an entrancing soundtrack- no beatmatching required. The Idol System introduces a tactical layer on top of proven shmup gameplay allowing for a range of play styles.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (61 reviews) - 72% of the 61 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 16, 2014

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Notice: Microsoft Xbox 360® Controller for Windows® (or equivalent) is strongly recommended.

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“A City Sleeps is a shoot-em-up that can appeal even to people who don't normally love bullet-hell games. It certainly roped me in with Harmonix's fantastic-as-usual audio hooks.”
4/5 – PCWorld

“It makes you feel badass when you can fly around the screen lighting up enemies and consistently swing back in time to catch the healing wave on the bass beat, or pull swarms of homing enemies into an area of effect attack and snuff them out all at once.”
8/10 – Game Informer

Deluxe Edition!

The Deluxe Edition of A City Sleeps is available now for pre-order and contains both the full game, exclusive wallpapers, and the original soundtrack. The soundtrack features an original experimental electro hip hop score by M-Cue (, who also serves as one of the game's level designers.

About This Game

From Harmonix, the creators of Rock Band and Amplitude, comes a fresh new approach to the traditional shoot 'em up! All the action in A City Sleeps is driven by an entrancing experimental hip hop / electronic soundtrack, with no beatmatch required. The game's Idol System also introduces a tactical layer on top of proven shmup gameplay to accommodate a range of play styles.

A City Sleeps follows Poe, the youngest member of The Silk, an ancient clan of dream exorcists that can enter the minds of sleeping hosts to rid their dreams of demons. When the residents of SanLo fall into an endless slumber, only Poe can rescue them from a never-ending nightmare. Equipped with her legendary Koto-sword “Heartstrings”, and flanked by her stable of powerful ghost familiars, she must cleanse their dreams, and uncover the city’s dark secrets.

Driven by an unforgettable original soundtrack that builds through player actions and enemy engagement, A City Sleeps infuses classic twin-stick hardcore shoot ‘em up sensibilities with moment-to-moment tactical choices.


MUSIC / GAMEPLAY SYNCHRONY - Level design and song authoring is done in parallel, ensuring a hand crafted and utterly unique audio-experience. Music drives player projectiles, enemy spawning, movement, and bullet patterns.

THE “IDOL” SYSTEM – Get tactical! Use Poe’s ghost familiars to possess inanimate objects of the dream world; these “Idols” will assist you against an endless enemy horde. The soundtrack builds as you leverage a range of both offensive and defensive abilities including AOE damage bursts, and healing bullets. Experiment with different ghost combinations to compliment your own personal play style.

GIVE UP THE GHOST!! – Reverie, Lucid, Nightmare; multiple difficulties for all skill levels. Need backup? Buff Poe with equip-able relics and unlockable ghosts types for a tactical advantage, or take a stab at the re-mixed “Cursed” variants for an even greater challenge! Compete against friends and the world in the global leaderboads!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7 / 8
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo 3.00GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Additional Notes: Controller strongly recommended!
    • OS: OSX
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or Faster
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2015
A City Sleeps, while short, is actually a vey satisfying bullet hell where the bullets are fired in the rythym of preset songs, which i would usually have an issue with but I love the peaceful yet straining elctrionic soundtrack. You play as a member of an exorcist organization, and must go into three people's dreams of increasing difficulty and destroy what is haunting them with the assistance of ghosts with varying powers, from healing to electric shocks. For the most part, Killing enemies isn't your top priority, it's surviving. after a set amount of time, most of the enemies just leave, to be replaced with different enemies. The only major enemies you want to take down first are the ones with health bars, and the bosses. In the first stage of each dream, you have a large amount of health, so getting through to the boss isn't too difficult, but when you advance to the more challenging stages, you'll be tempted to use the Mercy (healing) ghost, but don't. It doesn't heal enough to be useful and it dractically reduces your point multiplier. The other ghosts, however, do come in handy when you're in a tight spot.
The highlights of this game is it's music and it's art. I personally love the art style and can't get enough of it. As I said before, the music is amazing and worth playing for the music alone, even if you're not huge on the bullet hell thing.

Overall I definitely think this is a must buy for any music lover. Although there are not too many levels, the diffulty of the last stages will give you hours of enjoyment.

(Disclaimer: the time I have put into this game according to steam is incorrect, I have played much more, through various other means that I don't think need mentioning.)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
I like this game. Although its a little short.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
12.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2015
Low bullet visibility, unintuitive controls, a very eccentric combat system, walls of story text, and a cheap graphic budget add up to a product that just doesn't work well.
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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 16, 2014
A really well polished game with an amazing art style and soundtrack that go well into the game mechanics, and despite short length offers for a fair amount of fun.

The bad:
-Relatively short at only 3 very short level.
-Not much to do or collect besides the leaderboard and finishing the game on every difficulty.

The good:
-Amazing art style and soundtrack that go right into the game mechanics. You shoot in the beat of the music.
-Great in short bursts. Short level.
-Unlockable special abilities change up the levels and add highly to replayability.
-Although short, the game is relatively challenging and offers a variety of difficulty levels to unlock.

For every fan of the sadly scarce Shoot 'em up genre that enjoy a vibrant soundtrack that compliments the game well this is a must have. With it's beautiful art and fluid gameplay, it offers high replayability despite the short length. It is a sadly (at launch at least) overlooked game that in the terms of production quality and overall gameplay is at the top of its genre. If you enjoy the art style and are a fan of this genre, as well as are intrigued by the idea of the music pretty much dictating the game flow, this is a game you shouldn't miss. For everyone else, at least at a sale, it is worth a shot and will probably end up being a gem in many people's game library.
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27 of 31 people (87%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
What do we have here?
A City Sleeps is a horizontal shmup in which the spawning of enemies and your own rate of fire is determined by the rythm of the games music. Another nice feature is the ability to put one of five ghosts on available points on the screen to create shooting turrets or healing points that aid you in your battle.

What is good:
1. The soundtrack... its awesome and very well done.
2. The difficulty. The game is hard and unforgiving like a good shoot em up should be.
3. The ghost mechanic gives the game additional replayability as you probably will want to try a different approach on a level you've already beaten.
4. Varied bullet patterns. If you've played a few bullet hell shmups you'll be surprised to see a few quite well done and interesting patterns here.

The bad:
1. Controls feel clunky. You either feel like youre not fast enough to dodge the onslaught of bullets or you use your dashmove and overshoot. This of course gets better with practice but right of the start controlling Poe (the main character) never felt quite right to me. To me it felt like the dash move was originally intended to make you invincible for a few frames but then they cut that feature out at the last minute.

2. Gameplay. Despite having scrolling backrounds this is basically a twinstick onescreen arena shooter like geometry wars. Enemies spawn on screen and you try to kill them as fast as possible. Most foes take a ridiculous amount of damage though and often times fighting those bigger enemies feels slow and repetitive. At the end it all boils down to which ghosts to use at what point in the level and i didn't find this particulary exciting. Never before have i played a shmup in which destroying enemies felt so unsatisfying. They don't explode or scream or have nice death animations. Killed enemies just vanish without a sound.

3. Graphics. Stylish but Cheap. Everything looks like a cardboard cutout and is barely animated at all. Think of old flash games. Disappointing.

4. Content. Yes there are ghosts and relics(passive boosts) to unlock when beating the levels at certain difficulties but at the end of the day there are only 3 different levels. They change according to the music at higher difficulties but to me everything felt quite samy.

5. The whole rythm affects gameplay thing. A great idea that fascinates at first but eventually shows its downside: It makes the game unpredictable. Pushing the "shoot" button to kill a near enemy but you are not shooting? Yeah, because the music at this very moment does not allow it. This wouldnt be that bad if you could actually predict the music and play accordingly but the whole soundtrack (as good as it is) sounds like some kind of everchanging rave/techno/remix stuff. Try to predict this. :)

As you can probably tell i do not like A City Sleeps. Compared to other shoot em ups its slow and repetitive, looks cheap and has not enough content to warrant its price tag of 14€.

Youll be far better off to buy stuff like Crimzon Clover, Jamestown, Deathsmiles, Akai Katana or any other shooter from cave.
The only redeeming thing about A City Sleeps is its soundtrack. Yeah. buy and download the soundtrack, its awesome.
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