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Among the Sleep Review

Among the Sleep Trainer
Welcome to our CHEATfactor Game Review of Among the Sleep. We review the game and then factor in how the available cheats affect the overall game experience.
 

Reviewed on: PC
Developer: Krillbite Studio
Publisher: Krillbite Studio
Rated: "M" for Mature

 
CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki
Presentation 5/10 
Though the game's visuals do feature dreamlike visuals that add to the overall feel of the game, the visuals are notably dated. The game is also incredibly dark, even on the setting they developers recommend.
Gameplay 6/10 
The puzzles are relatively easy and the only real difficulty comes with the frustrating controls and mechanics. The story features a pretty big swerve that you'll probably be able to see coming but is powerful anyways.
Lasting Appeal 4/10 
This is the kind of game that you may not play again, but you'll tell a friend because the whole idea is just so out there and different.
Overall 5/10 
With Among the Sleep, KillBrite Studios has an interesting idea on it's hands, it just doesn't quite seem to know how to handle it. What could be one of this year's most haunting and humanizing games boils down to a promising but ultimately frustrating experience.
CHEATfactor 0/10 
 

Just when you think that there are no original ideas in gaming anymore; along comes Killbrite Studios. Among the Sleep, the first game from the Norway based developer puts gamers in the shoes of a very unfamiliar protagonist – a two year old child. Playing as a toddler in a puzzle/horror game may seem like a strange idea but it's done without resorting to shock value and acts as a vessel to tell a tale with real world implications and consequences. Unfortunately though, there's just not enough worthwhile content to push such original ideas past the gimmicky stage and Among the Sleep suffers as a result.

"...your mother goes missing and it's up to you and your teddy bear..."

 
   
For what it's worth, I knew almost nothing about Among the Sleep when I received my download code. All I really knew for sure was that I would be playing as a toddler in search of his missing mother; that's it. In an effort to explain the game without spoiling anything; your mother goes missing and it's up to you and your teddy bear to track her down. I'd also like to point out that knowing this was a horror type game; I thought that the walking, talking teddy bear was going to be evil and I can't be the only one. There's a big twist at the end of the game that makes the game feel a lot more grounded than your playthrough will have you believe, and though most will see it from about the halfway point in the game, it's still felt like a major swerve.

Unfortunately there's not enough actual gameplay content in Among the Sleep to go along with the string of interesting ideas. For most of the game you'll be wobbling, crawling and hiding from monsters around your house under the veil of some pretty ridiculously easy puzzle sections. You'll have to find your way through the normal household obstacles like stairs and baby-gates but it's so easy that you can't help but think that the mother is either very neglectful or this is one super smart baby. I couldn't help but cringe as I stumbled down steps and just hoped for the best.

"...a promising but ultimately frustrating experience."

 
   
Most of the real confrontation in the game comes from inside the baby's own imagination. The developers have smartly made the game about how a child would see everyday situations and how they would react to them. Shadows take on grisly properties and even mundane objects feel threatening here and it's an interesting look at what all of us have experienced, at least passively. It can be a pain to get away from some of these “monsters” as the toddler is a bit clumsy to control, and rightfully so. You still can't help but get frustrated when the baby always seems to trip in just the right places...every...time.

Visually, Among the Sleep is more of a mixed bag. Even on the higher end PC's, the visuals are of the early PS2 variety and aren't much to write home about. They do have this strange dream like quality about them that adds to the overall feel of the game but they're still a bit lacking (even for a two man studio). The game is also excessively dark, even at the settings the game recommends, which makes some of the puzzles even more frustrating. Voice work is what you'd expect.

With Among the Sleep, KillBrite Studios has an interesting idea on it's hands, it just doesn't quite seem to know how to handle it throughout the whole experience. What could be one of this year's most haunting and humanizing games boils down to a promising but ultimately frustrating experience. The ending will have you talking and recommending friends play through the short campaign, even if you could see it coming halfway through the end of the game. Among the Sleep is one of those games that you'll enjoy, but you can't help but feel could have been better.

 
 
CHEATfactor
 
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