Among the Sleep Gameplay Trailer – the Open World of a Child’s Mind, or an Attic of Cliches?

By | March 16, 2014

You’re a two-year-old in Among the Sleep, a new game by Krillbite Studios from Norway.  The new gameplay trailer is out ahead of the game’s release later in 2014 on Windows, OSX, and Linux.  It’s disappointing that the entirety of the 83-second trailer is spent in an attic.  The child wanders about touching things like normal toddlers do, hears some noise, hides in a vent and sees a shadow pass by.  A cliché in any horror medium.

Of course, the selling point of the game is that it’s played in a child’s POV.  There’s a teddy bear that helps you and mysterious creatures and places, which are products of the young-en’s mind.  One could get Freudian about it, I suppose.  Or like Citizen Kane, we yearn to return to that period of innocence, simplicity and security.  But in Among the Sleep, there are none of those.  It’s about fear, complex puzzles, and danger.  This trailer needed to show more of that.

There’s an excitement about a new game like this.  The trailer didn’t exactly squelch it, but now I’m wondering if the developers will focus on the cheap scare of a shattering bottle or shadow-play rather than the vast imagination and curiosity of a child.

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