A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Among the Sleep is a downloadable survival horror adventure experienced through the eyes of a 2-year-old. In addition to being extremely creepy, it's emotionally disturbing. Your companion is a talking teddy bear on whom you're supposed to rely for comfort but who always seems a bit sinister. Alcohol is clearly an issue from the beginning, as bottles are strewn throughout the various locations. And the settings are eerie long before the monster appears for the first time.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
AMONG THE SLEEP gives players the perspective of a child who's celebrating his second birthday with his mother. After escaping a playpen, you meet Teddy, a talking, walking, glowing stuffed bear. Later in the night while you sleep, Teddy is removed from your crib. Awakened and upset, you set out in search of Teddy and your mother, only to find that the house looks very different at night than it did during the day. With Teddy as your glowing guide and your 2-year-old motor skills, you must explore a dark, dreamlike version of your home to seek out memories to help you find your mother, avoid the monster that seems to be lurking around every turn, and figure out just what's going on. There are some puzzles -- which mostly involve looking for keys or other missing objects -- but a lot of the challenge comes from just being able to figure out how to get from point A to point B when you're not tall enough to see over the furniture. You're also being tracked by a monster who seems keenly aware of where you are at any given moment. If that isn't enough to scare you, the sound effects are bound to give you a chill. Much as in Peter and the Wolf, you'll want to hide when that orchestra starts playing ...
Is it any good?
Among the Sleep is visually stunning and emotionally challenging. It's not a particularly long game, and the puzzles aren't terribly difficult; it's more about the experience, which is both deliciously creepy and disturbing. The toddler perspective skews everything, so you'll spend a lot of time wondering what's real and what's in this child's imagination. Just considering what might be menacing for a young child is fascinating. Trench coat? Looks like it's alive! Deserted playground? Yikes!
The keyboard controls can be a pain to work with, but it's worth it to figure out what's going on, especially since it seems clear from the beginning that this story can't possibly end well. Be forewarned that you'll be asked to adjust the in-game brightness (or lack thereof) early on -- and if you get it wrong, it's nearly impossible to see anything. Accidentally crawling into a pond is deadly for a toddler, so you'll definitely want to be able to see to avoid that scenario. Even with those drawbacks, this is a compelling story that draws you in, excited but possibly afraid to reach the conclusion. Those who like figuring things out and don't mind (or even prefer) some emotionally charged horror will definitely want to give this a try.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the perspective of Among the Sleep. How does it impact the game to play through the eyes of a 2-year-old? How would the experience differ if the lead character were a teenager?
Talk about alcohol. What role does it play in the game? What effect does it have? Are there realistic consequences?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.