Horror games have been somewhat on the rise thanks to Amnesia, Slender, and Outlast. The only one being slightly scary is Outlast. There have been plenty of spiritual successors to the most popular of the three I just mentioned, Slender. People just love this Slenderman thing, I am surprised it is still so popular. There was a game called Daylight that came out earlier this year form ATLUS. The game tried to emulate what Slender did and it didn't work. It started off well but the repetitive nature of the game made it boring. This is a recurring theme with the horror genre these days, but Among the Sleep has changed it up.
You play as a two year old who wakes up in the middle of the night to strange noises. You are accompanied by a teddy bear who gives you guidance and security when you are scared. His inclusion of the game is rather seamless and the advice he gives helps you in solving puzzles, but it doesn't take away from the experience. Everything about this game is perspective and atmosphere. The game does not focus on jump scares, which is amazing. For a game to actually be scary, it needs to have the right tone, the right feeling. Waiting for something to jump out but nothing actually happening is the right kind of scared. After a jump scare, you are relieved and can move on. When there is that constant feeling of something going to happen, you are kept on your toes. That is where true horror lies.
What enhances this effect is the character you play as. A two year old that can hardly walk. Sure you can try to run, but you will soon fall to the ground and begin crawling. Your mobility is limited and you sure as hell can't fight something. This is what raises Among the Sleep to a new level of horror we have not seen in gaming. It takes the genre of horror and puts the player in a situation that ha snot been done before. Part of me wants to think that this game is actually not a supernatural horror game. It is more or less how a toddler views the world around itself. It hears strange noises when the mother is not around, everything is dark and eerie. The feeling of being totally lost. This is where Among the Sleep truly shines.
It has to be a game right? So there are plenty of puzzles preventing you from progressing in the game and the brilliance of some of these puzzles is that a toddler would probably be able to do all of these things. My biggest issue is when I have to search for items. It really kills the mood when I am wandering around in the same area for 15 minutes looking for something slightly glowing on the ground. Other than that, the game progresses fairly quick and you will either be scared, or be impressed with how well the world is created inside of this game.
For me, there were many parts where I wanted to stop playing just because I got too creeped out. I wasn't scared perse, but I was a bit anxious to see what was next, and I liked it. Among the Sleep has some control issues but you will get used to those rather quick. The visuals have that low budget indie look and it compliments the game well. However, it is short, and it sort of leaves you wanting something more. The game is certainly original and different. I suggest you go and buy this game now. I give Among the Sleep an 8/10. You can get it on Steam now.