Kickstarter Hands-On: Among the Sleep

The demo to Among the Sleep arrived on its Kickstarter page today, available to anyone who happens to wander on by with a PC, Mac, or Linux machine.  There’s three days to go on the campaign, which just cleared 100% funding a few hours ago as of this writing, and if you’ve been on the fence then this is an excellent excuse to have a second thought about backing it.  The demo covers a very early part of the game, starting from the house and finishing in a small section in a more fantastical area, and does a great job of presenting the creepy atmosphere with at least one solid scare for good measure.

The basic premise of Among the Sleep is that you’re two years old, alone in the house, and your parents are… somewhere.  As a toddler there’s not a lot you can do other than move small things around and open drawers and doors, but you’re also very small and can hide very easily.  There’s something in the house with you, knocking things over and throwing stuff around, and most of the lights are off.  That the toddler isn’t just curled up in a ball with its head under a blanket shows a fairly adult level of courage.

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For a being so young, the kid is remarkably spry.  Walking is pretty slow but crawling speeds up the works nicely, and strafing is effective either on two legs or on all fours.  This isn’t an action game, though, and you won’t be attacking the nighttime terrors.  Two is not an age where combat is an option, so hiding from the shadows until they’re gone is the way to go.  The demo’s action involves a little light puzzle solving with some environmental obstacles, and there’s some clever use of furniture needed to progress.

Among the Sleep is looking remarkably good for this early stage of development.  It controlled about as decently as a game featuring a toddler should, the environments are atmospheric and do a great job of turning the comfort of home into a nest of potential terrors, and it left me wanting to see what happened next.  It’s a bit late in the Kickstarter campaign for a demo to land, but head on over while everything’s still running and check it out, and donate if it’s to your liking.  Among the Sleep is off to a great start, the game is fully funded, and the first stretch goal of ice cream for everyone on the creative team has been surpassed.  Next up, Oculus Rift support.  The viewpoint is perfect for the Rift, so it’s a goal worth aiming for.  Here’s hoping for a good final run to the Kickstarter’s completion.