Sleep Tight, created by We Are Fuzzy, is an entertaining twin-stick shooter with a classic feel. Putting a fun twist on a nostalgic (and completely terrifying) moment that pretty much everyone can relate to – what if all of those monsters that you swore were hiding under your bed at night were real? And what if you had a way to fight back?
That’s pretty much the premise of Sleep Tight. The game greets you with a charmingly childlike theme and once you’ve chosen your kid and your weapon wisely, you’ve got to get ready to help protect them from all the creatures that go bump in the night.
Defending your kid will no doubt bring up memories of your childhood as you build up their bedrooms defense using things like pillow forts and mini-turrets to take cover behind. When the forts get overrun by the little gremlins, get ready to take the fight to them using a range of weapons fit to take down the biggest and ugliest of monsters.
With looming shadows, evil snickers, and skittering sounds, these night-crawlers are creepy enough for any adult trying to suppress their over-active imagination but I have to admit, the badass feeling of surviving another night and finding the ultimate strategy to arming up your room the next morning is a lot of fun. With twelve unlockable characters, you can explore different play styles as you go along.
Every other level introduces new monsters – with some monsters being bigger, faster, or harder hitters than other, it forces you to move around and leave no dark corner unguarded – lest you get eaten by the beasts.
The art style of Sleep Tight is fun and vibrant and, despite it being an open sandbox for you to customize, the added details of the bedrooms really takes you back to when you were a kid rather than just making you feel like another trigger-happy hero. There’s some really adorable concept art depicting the kids building their makeshift turrets and hiding behind their forts – all of it really helps to get you into character and sets the tone of the game.
Controls feel fluid and easy to use too – it’s the kind of game you won’t take too long to figure out gameplay wise. When it comes to strategy though, that’s where the learning curve comes in! One of my favorite elements of the game are the ‘perks’ that you can give your character, whether it be extra speed or the know-how to spend ‘sun’ more wisely (the currency that allows you to buy ammo and patch yourself up after surviving another night). As sun runs out quickly and isn’t easy to save, you really have to think about how to you’re going to spend it before diving into another fight.
My one gripe with Sleep Tight is that I wish the game had a little more diversity – seeing as it’s protagonist is a child, I would have liked to experience a little more imagination beyond the initial plot – whether it came from building your defenses or even more diversity in monster species.
It’s not to say the game isn’t fun, but after a while, levels tend to feel like they’re blurring together. With a touch more difference between them, I think Sleep Tight would be an absolute home-run. The plot is already genius, bringing up some of my most favorite (and most frightening) memories from childhood. The protag’s endearing war-cries as night approaches are all of us, back when we were determined little eight-year-olds ready to fight the noises in the night.