Among the Sleep, a forthcoming game from Krillbite Studios, is a unique little thing. It’s a survival horror game unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Horror games typically now fall into these categories:
- Horror-themed action shooter: F.E.A.R. 3, Bioshock, DOOM, or Resident Evil
- Zombie games: Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, Dead Rising, ZombiU
- Supernatural horror: Fatal Frame, Silent Hill series, Siren
- “Accidental” horror (more creepy than overt): Eversion, Anna, Home, Yume Nikki, Slender: The 8 Pages
Most of the last category have come from the publisher-less and budget-lacking indie scene, and just like film, low budget horror often has more going for it than not. It can be cheap, Flash-based slashers, or use its limitations to its benefit. Our minds fill in dark spaces and creepy, ambient soundtracks with unseen monsters all the time. Our childhood fears are resurrected in the form of deranged mascots, baby dolls, and wholesome family entertainment. Most of our fears come from our powerlessness, which is why action heavy games like F.E.A.R. 3 almost always fail to truly frighten. Casting your player as an apocalyptic, near-invincible warrior is hardly the way to provide that experience.
Among The Sleep casts you in the first person perspective as a 2 year old toddler wandering through darkly lit living rooms, chased by dark supernatural beings. A wobbly perspective, a full view of your hammy jams, and tiny hand pushing aside obstacles, it’s fully committed to the perspective. This conscious choice to make the player physically incapable of fighting back is a truly spark of innovation, as it plays well off of our youthful, plastic imagination in seeing a wind-rippled shirt on a coat rack as a terrifying ghost. Check out the first gameplay teaser below: