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Among the Sleep

Most first-person horror games I play revolve around some sort of no-named protagonist whose storyline is questionable at best.  Who cares, right?  I mean, you’re not there to learn about the hemorrhoids surgery they had in the fifth grade…you’re there because you WANT to be scared.  While there isn’t much of a story in “Among the Sleep”, the setting is what really makes the game unique…you get to play as a toddler.  A helpless, pint-sized toddler who, for obvious reasons, can’t make use of weaponry to fight off any evil things that come his way.  It’s similar to playing “Amnesia”, but as a child protagonist.  Before I go any further, I’d like to thank the folks at Krillbite Studio for providing me with a free press copy.

 

Among the Sleep

Among the Sleep (Windows, Mac, Linux)

 

This review is going to be light for a few reasons.  One, the game only takes about three to five hours to beat, assuming you stop to smell the roses of whatever room you’re in at the time.  For that reason alone, there’s not much with which to write.  You’re a toddler, moving from environment to environment and attempting to avoid the scary things coming your way.  On occasion you’ll have a puzzle to beat, but they are trivial in difficulty at best.  Most of the time, they involve manipulating objects in order to unlock a new part of the environment.

The best part of the game lies with the horror itself and yes, there is a monster that can “get” you.  Parents need not worry as there is no gore or violence present when this happens.  With that said, I really felt the adrenaline rush as I attempted to “crawl” away from it…this game really does a great job in reminding us as to just how helpless toddlers really are.  There are some other tense scares that wont harm you, but still rattle your chain nonetheless.  The atmosphere alone was enough to make me regret (in a good way) moving on to the next part of the game.

There’s not much to remember in terms of controls…you’ll either be crawling or walking and you can easily switch between the two with the press of a button.  Crawling allows you to go faster, but walking allows you to “hug” your teddy and shine some light on the darker areas.  Your character can climb as well as push and pull objects by clicking and holding the mouse while moving it, much like in “Amnesia”.  I was fine with the default WASD configuration even though I am an “arrow key” man.  The ability to customize your controls in the options menu does exist, for those curious.

 

Among the Sleep

Not to worry, you’ll experience environments outside your house…

 

As I said, this review is going to be short so I’ll just wrap things up here.  The game is highly atmospheric and is scary at times.  I do take issue with the price, which is twenty bucks (as of 5/30/14).  I expected a little more play time at that price point and wished the game hadn’t ended as quickly as it did.  In other words, it does a great job at what it was designed to do, but left me feeling empty when it was over a few hours later.  “Outlast” was roughly the same price and lasted about eight hours.  If you have the money to burn, I’d say go for it.  Otherwise, wait for a sale…Steam often has them.

Final Verdict: 6/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Among the Sleep” by visiting the following websites:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/250620/

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