Among the Sleep is a horror game where you play as a two-year-old trying to find out what happened to his family. I had a chance to play a short demo of the game at the Game Developers Conference, which gave me a taste of this atmospheric horror game.
Players get a first-person view from the child’s perspective. Furniture towers over you, making it difficult to open doors. That’s part of the fun of Among the Sleep. You get to see from a child’s perspective an imagination.
Among the Sleep’s ability to portray child-like vulnerability is what makes the game so compelling. You move slowly, walking or crawling so your movements must be calculated. You can run but for short periods. If you try to run for too long, you will trip and fall.
Sound plays a big part in Among the Sleep. The sound creates the haunting atmosphere of the game and helps you position enemies. The footsteps of the monster in the demo I played helped create tension. I never saw the monster but I could always hear it nearby, prompting me to hide repeatedly.
The game draws comparisons to Amensia, which makes sense. Both games feature first-person perspectives, creepy sound design, and no combat. You’ll have to run and hide to survive.
Make no mistake, you can die in the game. Developer Krillbite Studio addresses this in a lengthy blog post. “To continue our focus on children; there are lots of cases where depicting children in discomfort can be considered a necessity,” writes Krillbite graphic desinger Adrian Husby. “The game mixes an undeveloped sense of reality, with imagination and dreams. Hence, many elements are not necessarily meant to be taken literally.”
Krillbite sound designer, Martin Kvale, was careful to not spoil any of the story for me, but says there will be a meaningful conclusion to the game. “I think people will bring their own interpretations of the ending.”
Among the Sleep will launch this spring for Linux, Mac, and PC. You can pre-order the game now for $19.99. Krillbite is considering bringing the game to consoles in the future.