SILENCE OF THE SLEEP

Darkled visuals, stirring music for some of the most powerful feelings of disquietude, in-game Where do I even begin? With the haunting melody that structures the melancholic feel at the start of the...

Darkled visuals, stirring music for some of the most powerful feelings of disquietude, in-game

Where do I even begin? With the haunting melody that structures the melancholic feel at the start of the game, and every mellifluous tone after? The jagged, charred remains of a spooky ‘motel’ that you find yourself in, after you fall (jump) off a cliff? The ghastly silhouettes, maybe, of monstrous creatures chasing you, where each visceral appendage has dangling from it, a severed head? The eerie sounds of trapped spirits, accompanied with sudden apparitions and carvings on the walls, and babies wailing, time slowing, then turning that wail into a demonic gurgle? The amnesiac that’s bumbling around, unable to grasp even the little bits of information he’s offered? The blood? Should I start with all the blood? The blood is important, because it colours your entire world; or the quiet subterfuge, lulling you to complacency, until it’s too late either way. 

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The thing is this game will confuse you.  Are you in limbo? Somewhere between the world of the living and the dead; a vivid, yet surreal representation that’ll help you in your transition to the afterlife and all that waits for you there?  Is this, perhaps, your own private hell, for a heinous crime you can’t remember anymore? Are you alive, but mentally ill, a schizophrenic coming to terms with his own mental fragmentation, and gradually, but surely, failing at it? 

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You won’t know for sure, until the very end of the game; it could all be true, and it could be something else altogether, but the deluge of confusion that you wallow in won’t allow you to do so, unless you accept the conditions you’re offered, and the condition you’re in.Silence of the sleep is Jesse Makkonen’s debut, as a game developer, as a composer, and as a programmer. He’s done everything for the game, and here he excels with the visuals, music and audio cues to give you a disturbing atmosphere that’s perfect for the horror genre. The game is a 2D side scroller, but it works in areas that are three dimensional, which can get to be a puzzle by itself at times.  There are times when understanding why a certain puzzle breaks itself down in a certain way, or working your way through a psychiatric ward, requires you imagining the place you’re in as a three dimensional space (otherwise you’re pretty much lost on both counts). 

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There are issues in one particular section much later into the game (it’ll get infuriating to be honest), but thankfully you eventually stumble onto a map, and it helps you gauge the section out, and you’ll make your way through.There are issues in one particular section much later into the game (it’ll get infuriating to be honest), but thankfully you eventually stumble onto a map, and it helps you gauge the section out, and you’ll make your way through. 

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The game has no fights, is littered with cryptic conversations, some important, many not so much, but always cleverly disguised, so they don’t let you get presumptuous. There are sections where you’re on the run, from impossible creatures that’ll smash your face concave the second they get you (you can hide from them, but that’s a different ball game by itself, which I won’t ruin for you), all the while trying to figure out another key piece of information, to help you on your quest to regain  memories, the cause of all your distress (the fact that everything is a silhouette, including the character you’re playing, only brings more gravitas to this fact, and is interesting to say the least).On the whole, Silence of the Sleep is well worth the effort, and the ending again, goes two ways, in quick succession, and you can decide what you want to ‘believe’, really. Any interpretation will be good, regardless. 

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