The main thing that sets Among The Sleep apart from other titles is the fact you’re nothing compared to the ‘enemy’. Even in games like Outlast, where you have nothing to defend yourself with, you still find yourself as a match for the enemy; you’re always stronger or faster or smarter, but in Among The Sleep you play as a baby, a freaking baby, you’re not as strong fast or smart, you’re just a baby, a wobbly legged baby.
The baby’s ability set is about as limited as you can imagine, he can crawl pretty fast, walk slowly, get a grip on objects or climb short ledges. That’s it though, with just the abilities of a simple baby you are sent into a nightmare with terrifying evils surrounding you.
The game’s level design is fantastic. Each section of the game is a challenge, simply opening a door can require over ten minutes of setup. Everything is designed realistically, but also with the player’s skillset in mind. The only issue is these challenges quickly become repetitive. The most you will do is some simple navigation and stealth.
So there’s the main issue with Among The Sleep, it’s a stellar horror experience, but its simplistic mechanics quickly become stale. However the world of Among The Sleep holds the experience together. A simple room, like a kitchen, that we navigate every day quickly becomes a frightening place and familiar home comforts become horrors themselves. Suddenly that hanging coat becomes something much more dangerous and dark. Normal day to day things become terrifying nightmares when you’re put into this scary nightmarish world. This is what pulled me into Among The Sleep and helped me get over the simple and boring game mechanics.
While the bulk of scares in the game are imagined, most bumps aren’t really that bad, but from your point of view they can be terrifying. There is however a real and deadly foe in Among The Sleep, bugs. The game runs pretty poorly on my system, but thats just poor optimization. The main issues are clipping into geometry and some completely inexplicable frame drops which kills the pacing completely.