PAX East 2018: Sleep Tight Demo (Release Coming Soon!)
A New Pillow Fort Survival Game, Coming Soon to Steam and Switch!
As a kid, did you ever build pillow forts, or worry if there were monsters hiding in the darkest parts of your room? Lifelong friends Jed and Maxx did when they were little. Now that they’re grown-ups and working in programming and VFX, a thought crossed their minds: why not take those nostalgia-rich childhood staples and make a video game out of it? So together with their friend Banks and a few other game developers, their studio We Are Fuzzy created Sleep Tight, a fun twin stick shooter built on…well, building pillow forts! With night soon approaching, will you have the resources to push back the incoming monsters for one more night?
The game has a light-hearted and charming aesthetic, but the mechanics and strategies behind the gameplay make this “simple survival game” one that even veteran gamers can enjoy. The research tree, defense, weapon, and health upgrades take some time to master, and with the monsters varying from wave to wave you’re bound to be kept on your toes.
The currency to purchase these upgrades and defenses come in the form of orange suns (which you get at the start of each day) and blue stars (which you get by defeating monsters). While the daytime preparations have no time limit, you must spend all suns in order to move on to the next bedtime wave.
“It’s about making every purchase count,” says Maxx. “Whatever you buy has to at least last through one night.”
On every tenth wave, the monsters get a massive power boost from a “Blood Moon” effect. If you’re smart, you’ll start improving your pillow forts way ahead of time so you won’t get overwhelmed in that wave. Otherwise, you’ll have to follow Stack-Up’s example: run like crazy and wait for the sun to rise!
The game ends when your character’s health finally reaches zero. “We’re hoping that players will make it to maybe the fifteenth wave on their first run,” Maxx explains, “then they try again, make some adjustments to how they build their defenses, and then maybe make it wave twenty. It’s all about improving on what you did last time.”
Once you’ve mastered your personal style of defense, try to earn the achievements designed to throw you out of your comfort zone all over again! Possible achievements include surviving ten waves without firing a single shot, or running through a blood moon wave without any defenses. Unlockable weapons and characters are another feature that could add a few more dozen hours of gameplay!
For the time being, We Are Fuzzy does not have a multiplayer mode for Sleep Tight in the works; they want to lean towards worldwide record boards to get a good idea on the game’s reception first. However, Maxx says that a future Co-op mode isn’t out of the question. After all, would building pillow forts as a kid be much fun if you didn’t share the project with a friend?
While Sleep Tight has been greenlit for a Steam and Switch release, Maxx told Stack-Up that he thinks there are still a few tweaks needed before this labor of love is ready for the public. We Are Fuzzy wants to make sure the monsters aren’t impossible to defeat at a certain point, but they also don’t want the later-wave upgrades and items to literally turn Sleep Tight into a snooze fest. As a survival game, there needs to be some level of suspense—something about the next horde to give the player a little adrenaline. Yet if they venture too far into the intimidation circle, Sleep Tight may lose some of its charming childhood nostalgia; not enough Monsters Inc. and too much childhood nyctophobia. The developers are working out the final touches now, and are confident they’ll reach their final product before the expected release date.
Judging from a player’s perspective, Sleep Tight is a delightful survival game that can only be made better with the expected achievements and unlockable content. It is expected to release on Steam and the Nintendo Switch sometime this summer.