Sweet Dreams Are Made of These - Sleep Tight (REVIEW)

Sweet Dreams Are Made of These - Sleep Tight (REVIEW)

written by Tobias Worthington

10 years old, asleep in your bed. You're awoken by the sound of monsters bearing down on you. Armed with your trusty nerf gun you fight them off until morning. You were surprised last night. But this time you'll be ready. Sleep Tight, the new game from "we are fuzzy" puts you in this exact situation. Armed with nerf guns, pillow forts, and good old childhood imagination, you fight off endless waves of ever changing creatures in the dark. Addicting and with loads of unlockable content Sleep Tight is a fantastic start for a new studio. This game will have you reliving your childhood, building forts and fighting off the night. 

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While a slight story is possible to gleam from gameplay, the player of sleep tight is given no backstory. The game goes from start menu to gameplay without explanation or who, or what, is coming for you. As the game progresses and you unlock new characters you receive a short blurb on who they are. Aside from the small snippets given the player is left to completely fend for themselves. Unfortunately this lack of story is one of the contributing factors to this games sense of never progressing. While future updates may add cutscenes and backstory; as of right now the monsters aren't the only thing left in the dark.

With games now aiming to be as realistic as possible (and usually falling into the uncanny valley) Sleep Tight is a much needed breath of fresh air. With its cartoony, highly stylized art creating a game reminiscent of early Pixar films. Unfortunately the PC version of the game currently lacks any option to change graphical quality resulting in degradation on larger screens and possible poor performance on older computers. Another issue is the foot sliding. Being stalked by monsters is hardly scary when it looks like they are ice skating. 

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The gameplay of Sleep Tight can be summed up in two words, addicting and repetitive. It's a game that is fantastic to unwind to. Playing for multiple hours however, can be a mind numbing slog. As a top down shooter with a sprinkling of tower defence the game is very easy to pick up. Mastering it is a different beast entirely. Even with the many hours I put into it, and as a completionist i struggled to unlock everything. Characters can only be unlocked after surviving a certain number of nights, or by doing an insane challenge. Something i personally found extraordinarily challenging. 

Sleep Tight's audio direction is both a blessing and a curse. The music and sound design is beautiful. Although, due to the 30 second loop it does get repetitive. Each character has a set number of lines they repeat ad nauseum. When you're trying to get that perfect score playing the same character for an extended period of time you begin to dread every "Does your face hurt? Cause it hurts me" they utter.

One of the major flaws with Sleep Tights presentation is its single level. Each of the 12 characters play in the exact same environment, against the exact same enemies, in the exact same wave format. The only difference is character playstyle. The saving grace is the last 4 characters, the hardest to unlock. Each has a unique setup; from first person, to a nightmarish mode full of super powered, insanely fast monsters. Certain "quality of life" patches could also vastly improve the game's presentation. Changes like making the day and night cycles fade in, instead of the light of the sun suddenly appearing like someone flipped on a switch.

VERDICT

If I could sum up Sleep Tight in 4 words it would be “Fun in short bursts”. A fantastic game from a new company. But not one you could sit down for a 8+ hour gaming marathon. Either hours of practice or an unnatural understanding of top down shooters are needed to unlock all the content this game packs. If you need to unwind for an hour or just need a game to distract your kids for a much needed break definitely pick up Sleep Tight.

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3.5 out of 5

fun in short bursts

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