Lucid Screaming: Deep Sleep

By Adam Smith on October 5th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

The winner of the 10th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is a browser-based escape the room game in which it’s possible to leave the room after a couple of clicks of the mouse. The larger space from which to escape is actually a dreamscape, made up of gloomy staircases and shadowy rooms. Deep Sleep is a horror game, by golly, and relies on mood rather than jump scares to unsettle. Scratchy pixels and simple puzzles are the furnishings of this haunted house, and the delivery is effective over the very short playtime. There’s no reason for anything that happens – the story is essentially ‘a person has a dream and thinks about it afterwards for a bit’ – but it happens quite well and, given the price of nothing, that’s quite enough for me.

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17 Comments »

  1. N says:

    It starts off with a Nietzsche quote.

    Deep.

  2. Andy_Panthro says:

    Creepy, but good.

    Shame it was so short really!

  3. The First Door says:

    Well that made me jump plenty! The end is a bit sudden, though.

  4. beema says:

    Good atmosphere, but I think I’m just horrible at point and clicks. It takes me so long to figure them out and the tedium of clicking on everything a million times just destroys the atmosphere and gets me frustrated and then I don’t care anymore. I was stuck for a long time because I didn’t have the human bone, despite the fact that I click on the skeleton. But I didn’t click on the exact right spot! I hate point & clicks so much sometimes.

    • archimandrite says:

      I feel exactly the same way. And thank you for the hint about the bone! I had the same problem.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      The cursor does change if it’s over an item that can be interacted with, but it does have more than it’s fair share of pixel hunting for such a short game.

      There were a couple of moments that stumped me, the main one being the door combination.

  5. brau says:

    It was pretty good. Saw this on PC gamer.

    I enjoyed the mood, the setting, and there were some tense moments that really scared me… apart from that i wish it was a little more lengthy.

    RPS should post more stuff like this. I just played a game called. Tournament.

    http://www.nitrome.com/games/turnament/

    It was very very enjoyable.

  6. Hodge says:

    The aesthetics are brilliant (and genuinely scary, opting for sustained creepiness rather than cheap surprises) but the interface and design are Everything That’s Possible To Be Wrong With A Graphic Adventure. The puzzles are based entirely around trial and error, pixel hunting and adventure game logic. The perspective changes from room to room, making it almost impossible to navigate (most notable upon exiting the basement, where our protagonist insists upon traversing the stairs backwards). The interface gives almost no visual feedback. One of the puzzles is a CAPTCHA (!). GAH WHY MUST YOU MAKE ME HATE THIS GENRE THAT I LOVE!?!?!

    Still, the price is right, and the atmosphere is so well done that I still reckon it’s worth a play, even allowing for all the problems I had with it.

    • SpaceAkers says:

      The shifting perspectives sucked.

      • Wedge says:

        That was one of the only parts I liked, seemed appropriate for the setting. And with the path’s being so limited, it’s not really too confusing.

    • bakaohki says:

      Exactly my thoughts, but I’m in a minority here.

      When the black goo came out (in the dark room) I “tried to” attack it with the axe (I always forget how interactive p&c games are), then I died and closed the browser. I loved the crisp, sharp sound effects, that’s all I guess.

  7. FatsDomino says:

    Loved it. The dreamscape atmosphere was great. It had just the right amount of creepy.

  8. pupsikaso says:

    Ugh, hate these kinds of games. Take the skeleton’s hand? I clicked on the skeleton a dozen times and nothing happened! Oh no I had to click on a very particular part of the skeleton! Not even any part of the whole hand even, but just that one specific point.
    And then insert it as a lever into some kind of valve near the furnace? I couldn’t even see the damned thing was even there!

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