PAX is always filled with fantastic Indie Games. Hell, in a world where the number of Steam games released in a year eclipses the 7,500 mark, I’d be more surprised if there weren’t a lot of quality Indie games at the show. Sleep Tight from first-time devs We Are Fuzzy is one such game. With a simple but endearing premise: defend your bedroom from hordes of onrushing monsters at night with an arsenal of dart guns, water balloons, and pillow forts. It’s a fun time, and one that had me smiling at PAX East.
The basics are simple. During each day phase, your chosen character (there will be a handful at launch, each with their owns special skills) can upgrade weapons, build defenses, and refill ammo. You do this by spending stars and suns that are earned during the night phase. At night, quick 60-second phases, you must defend your bedroom from onrushing hordes of monsters. Manage to make it through, you get another day to prepare, beef up your arsenal, and then take them on again. When you’ve spent all the suns you earned at night, another night falls. Every ten nights, there’s a “Blood Moon” which means the night phase is longer, the monsters more plentiful, and everything’s overall a little tough. It’s a nice, tight, gameplay loop that’s really good for quick gameplay sessions.
It played well on the mouse and keyboard, as a top-down shooter, and I bet it would play even better on the controller, which was an option at the booth. I’m really curious to see how it feels on the Switch, which is where it’s launching alongside the PC/Steam release. However, what made me a bit sad was that it’s single-player only. As a sort of “how far can you go” game, it seems absolutely rife for local co-op, and I hope We Are Fuzzy are able to add that to the game sooner or later. Being able to work with my son to get through each wave would be a joy.
The demo 6 or so days I played, including one Blood Moon, was relatively easy. If you know how to play twin-stick shooters, the early stages of the game are not going to be too rough. It’s when you’re getting up to day 45 or more that you can probably expect things to get too tough for your little hero. And beyond that, what exactly is the “endgame” of Sleep Tight? Right now, it’s just “get as far as you can” without a real campaign or “you won” condition. This is fine and good, but will probably feel a bit tired after a few games.
Still the action is solid, the visual design is superb, and the key ingredients of a fun game are there. Sleep Tight is expected out in 2018, and we’re definitely keeping an eye on it.