Among The Sleep, the horror game you play as a toddler, is officially out today on Steam. We've shown you what early levels where you roam your childhood home look like—but that's not the only location you get to play.
Here's some footage of me playing one through an abandoned playground; it's the place you visit directly after your house. As you might've seen in prior footage of Among The Sleep, your character can hug a teddy bear tightly for comfort and more importantly, light. It's a neat mechanic, but I say that as someone that carried a teddy bear everywhere for the first three or so years of her life. (I still have this teddy bear, actually.)
Some impressions, based on the couple hours I've spent on the game:
- Playing as a toddler does make things scarier, in a curious way. Like—in any other game, some of the things used in Among The Sleep wouldn't really work. But when you're crawling around and don't really have a means of defending yourself, and when you think about how tiny you are, even small things—like the sound of a washing machine—can seem menacing. It's impressive!
- I love that pausing the game means shielding your eyes with your hands.
- You're really rather mobile for a toddler. This is a toddler that must get in all sorts of trouble! Still, it's neat that the fastest mode of travel is crawling, and that crawling means you get to view the world in a new perspective.
- While I haven't finished the game yet, I have a bad feeling about the teddy bear. I'm not sure how I feel about the teddy bear acting as the voice/guidance for what's happening, either. At worst, it can be a tad annoying—like the stupid, likely evil thing is patronizing me.
- The voice acting isn't very good, and you do see some bugs and lack of polish here and there. Additionally, some of the "puzzles" are rather simple. Still, the game manages to pull you in in spite of that.
- You're never really sure of what is actually real and what's imagined. That's a good thing! I will say that, early in the game you hear your mother arguing with a man. I started developing a story in my head around that: you don't get to see your dad, so I can't help but wonder if the entire thing is me trying to cope with his absence or something. At the very least, my vision/perception changed when the man was yelling at my mother, so now I can't help but think if the nightmares are connected somehow. I'm not far enough in to be able to tell, and even if the story turns out to be something else entirely, the way being a small kid informs how I'm processing things is cool.
You can buy Among The Sleep here.