Among the Sleep

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RightClickSaveAs
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Among the Sleep

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:36 pm

I played through this today and it was pretty good. I can't say it was particularly scary overall, but it ended up having a really moving ending and a great atmosphere. I don't want to oversell it because it's not THAT good, but I'd almost call it a bit of a Junior Silent Hill. The levels and monsters are manifested by a child trying to process something happening to his family that he's not old enough to understand. I really liked what they did with the symbolism in that regard, it adds a lot to it.

I'd imagine it looks really good and is quite a bit more frightening on the Oculus Rift. Maybe someday the thing will come out and I can say for sure!

Having you play as a two year old was a unique idea that was executed really well. Crawling is faster than walking, and when you walk there's this uncoordinated feeling they managed to capture nicely. There's also a vulnerability you don't normally feel in a game, everything seems so big and scary.

Ultimately it didn't end up being very frightening as a horror game. The monsters didn't do anything for me. There's only a couple and they're used sparingly, but there wasn't much of a sense of threat from them. They rely too much on the loud noises and screen distorting when they're around, which was like what was done in Amnesia: Dark Descent.

The most interesting part ended up being the symbolism and navigating an adult sized world as a toddler. I was worried when I saw early gameplay videos that it was going to be a platformer game where you have to crawl around on top of narrow cabinets and stuff, but it ended up being really fun. There's no jumping so no jumping puzzles to solve, and getting around is fairly straightforward. I didn't get lost much at all, which is usually a huge problem for me in 3D spaces in games. And as for the symbolism, there are hints all around as to what's going on as you make your way through the levels, and then they turn your expectations on their head at the end.

I'd recommend it if the idea sounded interesting to you at all, just don't expect too much horror.

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JPrice
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Re: Among the Sleep

Post by JPrice » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:55 am

Yeah I've seen Among The Sleep making rounds around the internet. I thought it's a neat idea, considering a child's mind is very proactive and imaginative so you could conceivably come up with a lot of cool horror elements. Glad to hear that it's paid off well for them, considering you said that it delivers some great atmosphere.
The levels and monsters are manifested by a child trying to process something happening to his family that he's not old enough to understand. I really liked what they did with the symbolism in that regard, it adds a lot to it.
I would ask like examples of this although I imagine it would be rather spoiler-tastic so hahaa :P

Shame to hear that the actual horror elements aren't hugely integrated, it seems that with the atmosphere it would have helped create something that would have been really scary (Assuming it was done right).
Still would you say it's worth £13.49? Or is it better waiting for a sale when it's around half price?
"Always look on the bright side of life"
Check me out on Steam if you like! - http://steamcommunity.com/id/JPrice321/

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RightClickSaveAs
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Re: Among the Sleep

Post by RightClickSaveAs » Mon Jun 02, 2014 5:18 pm

I'd say if you've played the demo and liked what you saw there, it's worth picking up at the current sale price. I really didn't regret buying it.

Matt just put up a developer video all about it that is much better thought out and summarizes my feelings about the game really well: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=547

I'll use the shiny new spoiler tags to provide some examples, in order of spoilery-ness. Don't read these unless you want to know some of the details of what's going on with the plot!

Small overall theme spoiler: The child's parents are having some marital problems. They're either separated or divorced, and the mom seems to be taking care of the child all on her own. You see this right from the start when the husband/boyfriend comes to the door and you can hear them arguing, and the screen gets all distorted like it does when you see a monster later on. Then as your making your way through the later levels, you'll often hear distant muffled arguments, the twisted and decaying levels symbolize the trauma and fear their fighting has caused.

More specific theme spoiler: Alcohol is a big factor in their problems. As you go through the games, you'll often find bottles of booze tucked away inside cabinets, and in one level, stacked up in this big hallway and if you knock them over, a monster appears and chases you.

Monster theme spoilers: The monster in one level can be seen stopping to raise their hand to their mouth like they're swigging a bottle. They also distort the screen and cause a loud noise when they're nearby, which is similar to what happens at the very beginning when you hear the argument.

Those weren't too huge of spoilers, and I didn't touch on the ending because I think everyone should just experience it for themselves.

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nsane
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Re: Among the Sleep

Post by nsane » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:06 pm

I was very let down by this game, so much so that I stopped playing and uninstalled it. I was expecting more horror elements and felt that they pulled the whole bait-and-switch routine. The first level was OK and had decent atmosphere, but after that it turned into just another exploration game. Sure, those are fine and good, but don't package and market a game as something its not. I most certainly will not be buying anything else by this developer.

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matt
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Re: Among the Sleep

Post by matt » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:42 pm

They definitely presented it as a horror game during the kickstarter, but I don't think it had many horror elements in the final product. I still enjoyed the game, but I can understand that some people would be turned off by it.

Neverending Nightmares is DEFINITELY a horror game, so don't worry about that. :)
-Matt Gilgenbach
Lead Frightener at Infinitap Games

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nsane
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Re: Among the Sleep

Post by nsane » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:17 pm

If they hadn't have made it out to be something it wasn't, it wouldn't have been as big of a let-down. It's like blindly taking a sip of orange juice when you're expecting tea: it's not bad, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when it's not what you expect.

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