Among The Sleep Demo Crawls Among The Living

By Nathan Grayson on May 15th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

The night is dark and full of terrors. No wait, those are just rocking horses.

Babies are the truest scions of terror. They represent the most primal, universally relevant fears we humans can have: responsibility, loss of freedom, uncontrollable fecal matter, etc. Among The Sleep, however, is not a horror game about raising an infant (although, thinking about it, that could be incredible), but rather being one. It teeters onto the scene at a good time, given that small-time survival-horror’s been hit by the Slenderfication Beam and the Dead Spaces and Resident Evils of the world don’t seem to understand that it’s not particularly scary to be the unstoppable monster that slaughters everything. A breath of fresh (read: putrid and rotting, with a hint of squash-flavored baby food) air is much appreciated right now, and you can have a go at it this very second. So hop to it. Oh, but don’t step on the cracks. As we all learned from our childhood peers on the playground, lives are at stake.

The demo’s apparently a slightly spiffed up version of the early section I played a few weeks ago, and it’s available in PC, Mac, and Linux flavors. I liked it quite well, though I came away with a few reservations. Among other things, Among The Sleep felt extremely scripted and a wee, waddly bit clunky to me. Also, what kind of two-year-old stays eerily silent all the time? Maybe the twist is that you’re a very, very, very young Gordon Freeman.

The demo’s┬ástill well worth a play, though – especially in light of the fact that Among The Sleep just hit its funding goal on Kickstarter. It still has a few days left before the campaign wraps once and for all, too, and stretch goals include Oculus Rift support and developer commentary. Exciting!

After that, backers get an expanded alpha in the summer and a full-blown beta somewhere down the line. Release, meanwhile, is slated for late this year. How are you finding the demo, though? Is it to your liking?

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20 Comments »

  1. Snids says:

    As a father of two young children, I will not be able to play this.
    Unless it was somehow impossible for the child to come to any harm. Like a magic shield or something.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I think it would be harder if you were controlling the baby as a unit… like in a strategy game, where YOU aren’t really there, you just control everything. But in this game you directly play the role of the child, which is ironically sort of a “removal” from the perspective that would make it hard for me to play since I have children.

      The scary stuff is what scares the child/you. You don’t have to watch the character get attacked like a unit in a strategy game.

      It’s like scary movies, just keep telling yourself it isn’t real, and when that doesn’t work close your eyes :P

      • Snids says:

        Now you’ve put it that way, it’ll probably be ok!

      • bill says:

        A strategy game where you controlled babies/toddlers would be at once awesome, and awful.

        Awesome in that finally people without kids might understand why you’re flipping your lid in the supermarket.

        Awful in that the number of news stories about enraged gamers doing something crazy would skyrocket like never before.

        Just wait here for a minute while I capture this flag.
        Wait, what are you doing??!
        No, don’t run that way!
        Oh crap, where did my unit go, I only looked away for a microsecond.
        Come back here!
        Careful with that!!!!
        I’ll let you watch cbeebies if you just capture that flag and don’t move for 10 seconds.
        Watch out! Car!!!!!
        No, don’t cry!!

    • bleeters says:

      In the demo at least, I don’t believe there was anything that was capable of actually harming you.

    • wererogue says:

      My instincts and recent experiences agree with you, but I’m going to give it a try because it looks BRILLIANT.

      • mokdon05 says:

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        (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

    • Miresnare says:

      Father of two young children myself here, and it’s a great little game. I’m so backing this.
      Thoroughly atmospheric.

      If anything, the fact my youngest is the same age as the toddler in the game *added* to the experience.

  2. Sinomatic says:

    Just coming off the SS2 post into this, and whilst I thought I could (perhaps) manage to play that, I doubt I’d be able to play this. I imagine it will just be like reliving some hideous childhood nightmare of impending terror and doom from the dark recesses and corners of your home. Strangely enough, that doesn’t sound very appealing. I think it’s a brilliant idea for a game though, and will probably happily and vicariously watch someone else playing through it on youtube, where the separating layer of ‘laugh at the terrified youtuber’ will exist between me and the creepiness.

  3. Hilden2000 says:

    First thing I did was stand up, look down and lo and behold my tiny pyjama- covered feet were there.

    Somebody gets it.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Awesome. That makes me want to play the demo more than any of the other words.

  4. staberas says:

    Sorry this game stopped being scary after i got the sentient demon teddy bear …

  5. Hooniverse says:

    It looks AMAZING! where can I find the demo to try it?

  6. DXN says:

    Flippin’ brilliant. Recaptured a lot of the feel of Amnesia, but with a very different, softer-and-cuddlier angle. It felt like being a baby in a home even more than Amnesia felt like being a guy in a castle.

    You can see yourself if you look down, which is great.

    I found myself taking the frog from the bedroom with me, to stand guard while I explored and lead the way into scary places, and it added a lot, despite being totally spontaneous with no prompting or whatever.

    • KenTWOu says:

      I found myself taking the frog from the bedroom with me, to stand guard while I explored…

      I guess, not everybody notices that teddy bear works like a flashlight, therefore, he is your actual guardian.

  7. TheBigBookOfTerror says:

    Wow, really enjoyed that! And by “enjoyed”, I mean I’m never sleeping again. I went down the stairs (after sending a colourful, bouncy and brave beach ball down first to check it out) and saw a visage of PURE EVIL. After I stopped screaming and running away, I went back and found it was just a rather cleverly arranged lighting fixture, casting sinister shadows. I carried on, scolding myself for being so easily spooked, crawled under a table, looked up, saw the same light, freaked out again and hid in a cupboard for five minutes.