|Among the Sleep|
Windows, OS X, Linux
- NA: May 29, 2014
Windows, OS X, Linux
- NA: November 2, 2017
Gameplay [ edit ]
Among the Sleep is a first-person exploration game seen from the view of a toddler. The player can move the cursor to walk or crawl around, the latter of which is faster and is required to slide through obstacles blocking the way. Running is also an available option, though the player will fall down if it is done for too long. The player can interact and push objects and open doors and windows. Sometimes, the handle to open doors is too tall to reach for the player, in which case the player will have to push and climb chairs for additional height. Other than chairs, the player can climb boxes, tables, and various things to reach otherwise unreachable ledges and heights. Certain objects can also be held as well as thrown away. Others can be stored to the inventory and taken out again for later use.
For most of the game, the player is accompanied by a sentient teddy bear named Teddy, a birthday present from the toddler’s father. The player can hug Teddy, who emits light that helps the player navigate through darker environments. The light will wear down after a while, but will recharge if left unused. If the player drops Teddy, which always happens whenever they arrive from sliding through pipes to a new level or environment, they will have to pick it up first before advancing again.
Throughout the game, the player is followed by two monsters: a feminine figure that haunts the first three levels, and a trench coat-wearing figure that haunts the final level. The monsters’ appearance is indicated by the blurring of the vision, grating sounds, and in the case of the feminine figure, a slow lullaby (Trollmors Vuggesang [sv] , "Trollmother’s Lullaby") hummed about. There is no way to fend off the monsters; if they appear, the player will have to run away or hide under tables or chairs until they go away. If the player is not quick enough to evade the monsters, a short cinematic will show the monsters taking hold of the player that results in a game over, followed by a continue screen with a pacifier. Clicking the pacifier restarts the game from the last checkpoint. The player can also get a game over by other means, such as falling into water or chasms.
The game is largely linear and involves going from point A to B, though the expansive environment with multiple obstacles may induce the feeling of being lost. After some time exploring the player’s house, the player is taken to a dreamlike location with a gingerbread house-like hut that serves as a sort of hub level. The house contains a circular door that leads to a new level, surrounded by four containers where "memories" obtained from each level are stored. After the player finds a memory and heads to a tube at the end of the level, they will be returned to this hut. Once four memories are stored, the player can insert Teddy’s right hand below the circular door to return to the player’s house.
In the extra DLC level, instead of exploring dreamlike locations, the player is taken to another house with the objective of finding and thawing five frozen dolls by playing music or turning on the TV. The gameplay is still the same, with the feminine figure haunting the player, but the player is also confronted by a fireplace monster in the underground section that advances and closes in through an aisle.
Story [ edit ]
Set in the 1990s, a toddler is having his second birthday celebration at his home with his mother. The celebration is interrupted by a visitor at the front door who is hidden from the player, but the story suggests it is the player’s father, with whom the mother has divorced. The conversation is muffled and partly kept from the player as the mother raises her voice, refusing the father’s request to see his child. The mother’s angry tone frightens the toddler, whose fear is presented as blurred vision. Quickly, the mother returns with a gift, but the mother doesn’t tell who the gift is from. Instead, she carries the child and gift upstairs to the child’s room, a place of bright, warm colors and streaming sunlight. The mother briefly opens the gift, but looks at what is inside with a disdainful expression before quickly shutting the gift box. Before the present is given to the child, the telephone rings, and the mother leaves her baby in the bedroom to play alone. The gift is revealed to be a sentient teddy bear who climbs out of the box and hides in the chest until the child finds him. The bear introduces himself as Teddy. Teddy has a friendly, curious nature. After a few minutes playing together with a music box, a stuffed pink elephant, a story book, and a toy train, they go into the closet, which turns out to be a large, dark room filled with long, dark colored coats. Teddy says that if the player gets scared in the dark, they can hug Teddy to feel more safe. Once the player holds Teddy, he lights the way, acting like a flashlight. The small adventure is ended by the mother finding them; she tells the child, gently but ominously, to stop hiding from her and puts him to bed. The baby wakes in the night to find Teddy being taken by an unseen force. His crib overturns, and the player escapes. The child leaves the bedroom and rescues Teddy from a washing machine by unplugging it and opening the door. The bear says that something was not right and that they had to find the child’s mother.
The search leads them to discover a slide that takes them to a small playhouse within a cavern that is presumably under the house, and the door found inside it leads them into a journey through several surreal environments, consisting of an underground playground, a dilapidated mansion that has merged with a marshy forest, and a bizarre series of caverns created by hundreds of closets. Teddy instructs the player to find four memories the child shared with their mother that will lead them to her. The memories take the forms of four objects: Her pendant from her necklace shown at the start of the game, the music box she plays to put him to sleep at night, the story book, and the pink elephant. Throughout the search, the player is pursued by a large, feminine, troll-like monster and a creature with glowing white eyes that has a coat as a body like the ones in the child’s closet earlier.
After the last memory is found, Teddy and the child try to go through the slide that would lead back to the playhouse, but the coat creature grabs onto Teddy to stop the child from completing the last memory. The child was hanging over an abyss and Teddy’s arm was ripped off in the weight of the child. The player then falls into a dark place lit by a series of floodlights. The child follows his mother’s voice and sees her drinking from a bottle as she transforms into the feminine monster from earlier (implying that they and the coat figure are the same) before disappearing. The child is left alone in the dark, with window lights coming from up ahead, leading it back to the playhouse. After using the last memory to open the playhouse’s door, the child sees cracks in a door that’s straight ahead. Once through the door, the child is back in their room (having exited through the closet). The child heads downstairs to find his mother crying in the kitchen, the damaged bear in one hand, an empty wine bottle in the other, which she drops. When the player attempts to retrieve the bear, the mother knocks the toddler over and shouts at the player to leave her alone. She apologizes and tells the toddler she didn’t mean to, and that it’s too much. The player has the option of briefly comforting mother should the player interact with her again.
There is a knock at the front door that the mother doesn’t react to; instead, she continues crying. When the toddler goes to the door, it opens and reveals a glowing white light. The player’s father is heard talking to the child, remarking on Teddy’s broken arm, stating that he can fix him.
Prologue [ edit ]
An expansion level available through downloadable content is set before the events of the game, again told from the toddler’s point of view. The player is wandering through a winter environment and finds five dolls surrounding a light that breaks, sending the player to a house different from the one shown in the main story. The player is required to locate and thaw the five dolls that are frozen due to the freezing wind from outside coming through the open windows, which involves closing the windows and using music and TV to free them. Throughout the house, bright figures of the toddler’s parents are shown arguing due to the mother’s alcohol abuse. Along the way, the player encounters the feminine shadow monster from the first game and a living furnace monster in the basement. Once the player finds all of the dolls, including the rabbit one found outside the house after it has fallen from a window, the mother is seen taking the toddler before going away in depression, implying that the house is the father’s house and that the mother is taking her child to the house seen in the main story, leaving the doll out in the cold.
Alternate Ending [ edit ]
This "bad ending" was scrapped from the story but was placed in the enhanced edition of the game. The ending can be accessed in the "Museum level". The toddler wakes up in a broken down, cage-like baby crib in an unknown area. Then he sees Teddy turning a wheel, where the crib is being held, revealing a room with lifeless dolls, all memory items and a giant cooking pot. The crib stops moving and Teddy walks creepily towards the child, "happily" greeting him. From that moment his neck cracks and giant skeleton-like hands came out of his body, revealing his true ghostly form: "The Nightmare". It turns out The Nightmare has been using young children to collect beloved items to create a stew by disguising as stuffed toys and tricking children to venture far from their homes. He prepares his meal by placing all the items in the pot, stirring them, while saying the quotes from the toddlers book "Five Thirsty Animals." He then congratulates the child for doing his bidding, grabs him, and drops him into the boiling water ready to be devoured.
Development [ edit ]
Development of Among the Sleep began in 2011, and attracted 225,000 NOK (€28,000) on 27 May and 200,000 NOK (€25,000) on 28 October in 2011 in funding from the Norsk Film Institutt (Norwegian Film Institute)   The NFI awarded the company a supplementary 400,000 NOK (€50,000) on 1 March and another 820,000 NOK (€102,700) on 1 November in 2012.  
Krillbite Studio also gained subs > at 18 April 2013, where they managed to pledge $248,358 of a $200,000 target. Achieved stretch goals included a commentary track, downloadable content developed in collaboration with backers, and support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset.
Reception [ edit ]
|Metacritic||PC: 66/100 
PS4: 66/100 
XONE: 62/100 
|Adventure Gamers||PC: |
|Destructoid||PS4: 8/10 |
|Game Informer||7.75/10 |
|PC Gamer (US)||60/100 |
Among the Sleep was met with mixed to positive reviews, receiving 7/10 from both GameSpot  and Polygon,  and accruing an average score of 66 out of 100 on Metacritic. 
As of 7 March 2015, over 100,000 copies of the game had been sold. 
The Mother as she appears in-game while putting the Toddler to bed.
The Mother is the main antagonist seen at both the beginning and end of the game. She is the mother of The Toddler. She has an obvious drinking issue and starts to morph into a monster in the eyes of her child.
Based on the beginning interactions, she seems to be an adoring mother. She presents herself as cheerful and affectionate, but whenever she’s drunk or hungover, she becomes angry and is easily frustrated, leading to her becoming abusive towards her child. By the end, she seems to have realized it and is remorseful for her actions. The Mother seems to be trying to hide her depression from her child.
Personal Life Edit
Not much is known about her in the main game. It’s implied that her ex-husband, Toddler’s father, regularly visits her to see his child. Due to a combination of domestic violence and alcoholism which stemmed from the mother’s alcoholism and the father’s prolonged periods of time away from home. It’s suggested that the father was abusive, which is why the mother left with the toddler, and possibly contributing to her drinking problem or that due to the father’s prolonged absence caused her to feel depressed and neglected which lead to harming her son.
Some point after the events of Among the Sleep: Prologue, her and the toddler moved away from the winter cabin to a house that could be in a forrest. Due to the house they lived in before, it can be assumed that the father had a difficult yet well paid job.
She wears a blue shirt. (with a wine stain), has brown hair and green eyes. She also wears an amulet for a necklace, which is one of The Toddler’s Memories.
She seems to have a drinking problem, which leads to her abusing the child, turning her into a monster in the toddler’s eyes.
At the end of the game, the Toddler is holding on to Teddy by the arm over an abyss, with the Coat Monster holding Teddy’s other arm. The arm rips off and the child falls into the abyss. This event represents the Mother losing her child’s custody and ripping Teddy’s arm off in a rage of sadness and anger from losing her child to her ex-husband. This proves she has serious anger issues along with drinking, or could be a side affect of being an alcoholic.
Roaming the halls while looking for Teddy right after the Toddler’s crib gets knocked over, there are wine stains on the floors, cracks in the walls, broken glass, and lots of wine bottles are seen, foreshadowing the mother going crazy drunk.
Monsters are the primary antagonists of Among the Sleep and its prologue DLC. The original game features three monsters, while the DLC features two; these sets are exclusive.
The monsters’ appearances are filtered through the imagination of The Toddler. As such, their appearances are relatively abstract and yet also quite simple.
Upon detecting a monster’s presence, The Toddler will panic, manifesting as distorted vision and disturbing audio. If they make contact, The Toddler suffers a Game Over and must continue from an earlier portion of the stage. However, monsters are capable of sneaking up quietly behind the Toddler without triggering any of these cues, so he should always be aware in all directions.
Original game Edit
The original game contains three monsters. All three of them represent The Mother, who is an alcoholic, at different stages of her drinking.
The Stranger (Harald) Edit
Harald as he appears during a jumpscare.
Because of The Mother’s temporary absence, no monster attacks the boy early in the game. However, a jumpscare of the Stranger occurs as a scripted event within the house.
The Stranger can also be seen in the corner of the living room when the player walks through it for the first time. He appears for a split second behind the couch to the right of the door before disappearing.
The Forest Lady (Hyda) Edit
The Forest Lady appears in the third level, The Forested House, and it represents The Mother when she’s drinking and in sorrow.
Hyda does not appear in the first portion of the map, and is only shown to be present when she screams in the background just before the player picks up the second puzzle piece.
Later, when venturing the eastern area of the map, she makes her first appearance. She is seen through the window in the house, standing at the well. After a short time standing near the well, Hyda walks off-screen and disappears. When the player fishes out the puzzle piece, she stalks them through the woods, where they must hide under furniture to evade her.
When the player collects the square key in the outdoor storage, she passes by outside. After this, she poses an actual threat to the player.
She appears one last time in the southern area of the house, the library. She appears straight ahead in the river, and the player must find a route past her or hide underneath cover to get through. On each edge of the river, the player must cross planks to reach the other side, where she will likely reappear. Find cover to evade her. Once the player reaches the final door to the bedroom, they must hide one last time under the chair or the bed to avoid her.
When the player visits the playhouse for the third time, Teddy will comment on how disturbing and unusual the creature is, and state that she feels sorrow and desperation.
The Coat Monster (Heap) Edit
The monster first appears as a brief image in the corridor after crossing the bridge, serving only as a harmless jumpscare. Soon after, the player will come across a transforming painting identical to those in the previous chapter, only this time it cannot be passed through, and merely serves as a hint as to where the next key is, showing the star key bottle being snatched away by the monster and the location it moved it to.
The monster then begins stalking the player around the level, making harmless scripted appearances as they search for the key. The first is when it passes by across the broken planks after the player smashes a bottle containing the moon key, the second is when it passes ahead after freeing the the bridge the second time, the third is when it shrieks in rage after the star bottle is broken in the kitchen, and the final time is when it appears behind a pile of junk after an unavoidable bottle is smashed. From then on, the monster will pose a real threat to the player.
After crawling under another junk pile, the player will come across a tall wall of broken planks, which acts as the spawn point for the monster if a bottle breaks. The player will then traverse through a U-shaped hallway, which contains set-ups of bottles that will alert it when smashed. When the player gets through it and hides as it appears, they will reach the end and return to the star door to unlock the final memory.
In the final sequence of the level, just as the toddler is about to escape with the final memory into the exit tube, it grabs him by the leg and seizes Teddy, causing his arm to be torn off and the toddler to fall down the pit as it leaves with Teddy.
During the big reveal scene with the floodlights, the monster appears one last time as a vision, emerging from the darkness before the light flashes off.
It is implied in the introductory sequence that The Toddler frequently hides in the closet from the Mother, and it is shown after completing the Closet level, that it indeed takes place hiding in the actual closet. This may cause her attempts to seize him to appear like the various coats in the closet are attacking him, explaining why this monster resembles a trench coat and why all such coats among the house appear so imposing.
Heap appears one final time in The Prologue, when he passes by a doorway in one of the corridors as the player walks upstairs. This likely foreshadows The Mother’s appearance at the end of the chapter, given that Heap and The Mother are the same person.
Prologue DLC Edit
The prologue DLC takes place in an unknown amount of time before the main game and features two monsters unique to itself.
The Shadow Edit
While wandering the house, the Toddler must evade a shadowy silhouette. This shadow is a remodeled and re-textured version of The Stranger. It’s precise behavior and symbolism are unknown; however, it likely represents The Father in some way, as he is the only one in the house. The Shadow does not attempt to chase the player in any way; it only patrols the house until the player draws near, which it then will attack.
The Furnace (Hons) Edit
In the basement of the house is a large, retro-style furnace. Upon moving far enough into a dark spot in front of
the Furnace, it will suddenly come alive, roaring and blazing, and chase after the player with clumsy hops. If the player then moves out of its activation zone, it will instantly return to its original space and wait to be awakened again.
In front of it are two light switches that can only be reached by climbing the nearby boxes. When the player is within the light toggled by these switches, The Furnace returns to dormancy.
Hons most likely represents how children may interpret certain objects as having sentience, due to some having face-like attributes.