Platform: iPhone - iPad - Android
Test Your Protective Instinct in Sleepwalker!
Controlling the environment to manipulate the movements of a character is not an original concept. It has been done in many ways across various platforms. But the premise mostly remains the same. The character in the stage cannot be directly controlled, you will need to use objects or manipulate existing environments to steer the character in a specific direction. Sleepwalker manages to break away from the other games in this genre by providing impressive visuals and making full use of the touch screen controls. This game is an impressive tablet title that we highly recommend for those of you who want something fun and subtly clever at the same time.
Cheerful Night Skies
Normally, the first thing we talk about in a game is its story or gameplay. But with Sleepwalker, the visuals stand out so much that we cannot help but place it front and center. Admittedly, the basic line art used in the game is not all that special or original. The color and lighting treatment however is of the caliber that would be enough to make the game something akin to an art piece. Of course, the entirety of the game is done in a single style, so as visually delightful the graphics may be, they also tend to repeat.
In case of an app game, we find this little issue to more than tolerable -in fact, we pretty much expect it. A great game is not only one that has lots of excellent content, but one that also manages to squeeze everything in to a manageable size. And Sleepwalker's compact game size is a stark contrast to the visuals it displays. Each sprite and stage element has been designed to work so well together that nothing ever seems out of place despite the irrationality of the concept (industrial fans, unicycles, clouds, stars, and an assortment of other stage items do not make for a logical grouping of objects). The entire game looks as if it shimmers with reflected moonlight --this adds a highly effective dreamlike effect to the visuals that quickly captivates players into the game world.
The music is not to be forgotten either. The tracks are melodiously sweet and enjoyable to listen to. The beat of the background music will keep you happily entertained but still manages to stay true to the overall theme of the game. In terms of audio and visuals, Sleepwalker stands out quite well over plenty of other platforming apps.
All in the Fingers
The controls Sleepwalker are simple: you simply tap and drag your finger at various onscreen items in order to interact with them. Precision and timing count a lot in this game: toggle a panel too soon or too late and the sleepwalker may fall to his doom. The key is in staying aware of all the interactive items in the game at any given time. Sticking to the standard camera angle is not a bad idea for the early parts of the game. Later in the game, however, it would be wise to start looking and planning ahead in order to get your character to the goal safely.
Each stage comes with a single goal: get your character to the goal area. Once you reach it, the round ends, and you get to move on to the next stage. The game is divided into several chapters, and each chapter is split into several stages of increasing difficulty with trickier puzzles to solve. To do this, you will need to use your fingers to interact with the stage. Touch gestures will vary from simple tapping to dragging to pinching and more. They are easy to do, and once you get the hang of it, it becomes pretty natural.
Of course, it is essential for players to pay attention to the information provided in each tutorial of the game -it will instruct you about gestures. And not guessing what to do is going to save you plenty of crucial time when you reach the later stages where quick thinking and even quicker actions will be needed.
Getting More Content
Those of you who are unsure about getting this app will be happy to know that a demo is available for play. This sampler pack features the entirety of the first chapter of the game, which means 10 whole stages of sleepwalking fun to be had. It also introduces players to the primary aspects of the game which is all about toggling your interactions with background objects at the right time. Our opinion? This game is certainly worth buying for those of you who love impressive art and want to get a relaxing yet solid game to play. While some challenges are designed to be a little frustrating, the overall delivery retains a very laid back and casual approach. So if you have the credits to spare, this is one in-app purchase that is certainly worth considering.
For its simplified gameplay and controls, one would expect that 11 Bit Studios title would not gather much interest. But with its impressive artwork and visual direction, Sleepwalker has managed to be leagues ahead of its competition. Of course, there is more to the game than just the graphics alone, and Sleepwalker still manages to deliver a full experience. Sure, this is not a true free app - players will want to buy the additional chapters later on, but even that is a recommended purchase. And the fact that a demo is available means that you can give it a try before choosing to buy.