Friday, May 17, 2013

First Impressions: Among the Sleep: Pre-Alpha (PC)

No, thank you for letting me play!

With Krillbite Studio's Kickstarter (which has less than 24 hours remaining) for Among the Sleep fully funded, the public now has access to a pre-alpha release of their game.

I just played the extent of what was released on Wednesday, May 15th.

It. Is. Awesome.

I can't really say much about the storyline for the game other than you're a toddler, a two year old I believe, your crib topples over.  Oh, and your teddy bear seems to be sentient.

In the beginning, you're just wandering around your house.  Keep in mind you're a two year old, so you're visual perspective is from that of a child who both crawls and walks.  And, and, AND!, you can see yourself:
Yes, at anytime you can look down, see your little bebby belly getting a good scratch.  This looking down perspective comes pretty handing though when walking across platforms, which I won't talk about aside from here so that I don't give anything (much else anyway) away.  This looking down and seeing yourself is one of many little things that was included, that didn't have to be included, that make this game amazing.  
What's that?  You can't make out what that writing says?  Of course you can't, you're two years old.  You can't read.  Yes, you can make out individual letters on the blocks (as in the above picture), but those are individual letters, not words, which your brain probably can't even comprehend yet.
Another thing, when you press Esc/pause, you cover your face with your hands.  Fucking_Brilliant.

Onto other things now.  How does the game handle?  It handles just fine.  I didn't have any problems with the controls.  I did change the mouse to inverted controls and the only other thing that doing that might have affected was which way you had to move the mouse in order to open up doors, drawers and cabinets.  For instance, to pull open a drawer, I had to click the drawer and push the mouse forward.  After figuring this out on the first time, I was perfectly fine.

And remember, you're playing as a toddler.  You can't reach that door knob, so you have to find something to pull over to that door, climb up on said object and then open the door.  This type of perspective was one of the major draws to the game for me.  I play a lot of horror games, but playing one from a toddler's perspective, seeing the world through their eyes, albeit with an adult's mind and how to interact with the world, it's like seeing things as brand new all over again.  I don't remember the first time I ever saw a washing machine and I can almost guarantee that my little brain couldn't process what that big white thing did.  It might've even frightened me somewhat.  That's what Among the Sleep did to me.  It made me wary of a washing machine that was running at night.  That's something.

The music, what little there was that wasn't there for atmospheric purposes was very nice, but the sound editing was great.  A lot of the ambient night time noises that you'd hear around a house in the middle of the night seemed amplified, especially the ticking of that damned ominous clock.  The lullaby too, that the mother sings to you as you're falling asleep, reminded me of the lullaby from Pan's Labyrinth: beautiful and motherly with a very slight undertone of foreboding.

The playable pre-release demo-esque of Among the Sleep played for about 20-25 minutes on my initial playthrough, but a lot of that time was spent just looking at my surroundings and seeing what I could interact with.  On subsequent playthoughs, when I was going around getting pictures, but trying to also see how fast I could finish, it took me, maybe 10 minutes.  You and all your friends with a computer should really go to the Kickstarter page and download the pre-alpha demo-game-thing and play it.  Then, play it again.  I'm really looking forward to sometime around December when the full game is released.

Lastly, I'd like to leave you with this little nugget from the game, when shit began to get weird:

A Long, Long Time Ago. . .


  1. I like everything you've said about this game. I'm going to go play it and get back to you.

    Also I changed my name again because I was afraid the government was looking for me.

  2. Alright, that took a little while, but I played it for a few minutes. And I realized how very scared of the dark and of the unknown I am. Thank god for Teddy. Awesome game, so far the super awesome concept seems pretty well carried out.
    Funny thing though: I fell through a wall and out of the whole scene, prematurely ending my game. I got to watch the known universe drift away as I fell into oblivion. Pretty cool.