Sleep Tight is a brand new game from indie developer We Are Fuzzy. Combining two genres, twin-stick shooters and tower defense, Sleep Tight manages to make these two genres successfully work together. The concept is unique and simple. Instead of making a crazy universe where aliens are destroying Earth and the player must strategically place defenses all around to save humanity, the player instead controls a child. A child whose mind is an open invitation to the imagination of monsters lurking in the dark.
The player chooses a kid who must survive the longest they can. Each night the monsters get stronger, faster, and accumulate in numbers. The difficulty increases as the game progresses. The twin-stick shooter elements comes into play where the player has to move around the room. The right stick is used to fire a gun in any direction. The second aspect of gameplay comes from the tower defense genre.
This is where Sleep Tight has replayability. There are four areas where the player can upgrade. Tech, power-ups, guns, and defense. Tech allows for more currency to be earned each night and some techniques to help the player throughout the waves. Power-ups give the player extra abilities. Guns give the player exactly that, different gun options. Finally, defense allows the ability to build or upgrade defenses. Figuring out where to start or what to invest in is fun as well as trying to get further each time playing. However, even the mechanics working seamlessly despite the blended genres, Tte game does not offer much in terms of actual content. Limited content is the most lacking feature of this game.
Sleep Tight, at the time of this review, has no local or online mutiplayer modes, only a single-player option. It is the same mode: survive as long as you can. Every time I’ve played the game, nothing changes within each session. There is only one environment, the child’s bedroom, which always looks the same. The same music over and over again along with every game playing out the same way. There are a total of 16 different characters with their own unique abilities and passive skills. However, it doesn’t create a different experience, it merely helps with getting certain abilities faster. What I did like is that every character does have their own personality. Their personalities show within the character design as well as what their unique abilities are. It helps that every character has their own voices, too. My personal favorite is a child in western garb who starts the run off with a shotgun. The voice lines for this character are funny and charming.
Sleep Tight is a conflicting game. On one end, I genuinely like the game. It is fun to actually play, try out new characters, and beat my own high score. The game’s charm is its saving grace. I found myself liking the tone the game sets. It isn’t a stressful tower defense game. It’s a chill game where taking a wild ride through a child’s imagination is blended into solid gameplay.
The downfall is that there isn’t much to Sleep Tight. I found myself experimenting with different play styles not because the game changed its tactics and I was forced to adapt. Instead, I did it because there isn’t anything encouraging the player to try anything new. I ended up playing differently because I was bored with how each run plays out exactly the same.
Everything about Sleep Tight is mediocre as well. The graphics are decent, with in-game models looking sub-par. The monsters are the most detailed things in the game. The sound is bland. Guns don’t have a good pop to them. They all feel a bit weak. Most monsters sound the same, minus the huge monsters. As mentioned above, the music is monotonous. There are three tracks in the game that the player will hear over and over again. The story is nonexistent from the moment the player presses start and starts a run. There is no backstory or information at all. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it is jarring to see that there isn’t anything backing up the game. A little story would get the player motivated to play. The only amount of narrative info given for Sleep Tight is through its trailer. The gameplay is the most satisfying of all. The controls are smooth and responsive, which is essential for a twin-stick shooter. We Are Fuzzy did nail this aspect of Sleep Tight.
Sleep Tight is a unique game with many flaws. I do like the game but in its present state, there isn’t much keeping me staying long enough. The only motivation to replay it comes straight from the days of the arcade scene: to beat an opponent’s (or your own) high scores. If there were multiplayer options, different environments, and more depth to the defense tower aspect, Sleep Tight could have been a great summer indie gem. With lack content, the only thing here is an extremely bare bones twin-stick, tower defense hybrid. Really nothing more or nothing less.